caribbean hurricane
Hurricane Tomas, Dominica 2010. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, are common in the Caribbean and have particularly devastating affects on the communities. Photo: Caribbean Development Bank

UNDP has been providing support in this area continuously since the 1990s, supporting the recovery in Montserrat post volcanic eruptions in the late 1990s, and shaped by the response to the impact of Hurricane Ivan on Grenada in 2004. The SCP 2005-2009 articulated results in this area as has the 2012-2016 UNDAF under the outcome area Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction. Specifically, one key output is that disaster risk reduction is better integrated into development planning and disaster response and recovery improved.

Under the associated SPD 2012-2016, the intended outputs include:

  • Increased funds for climate change adaptation and mitigation aced through UNDP and linkages with DRR.
  • Information to support climate change mitigation, adaptation and DRR developed and updated for the 10 countries.
  • Development planning inclusive of mitigation strategies based on sound modeling of hazard impacts including effects of climate change in 10 countries.

In addition to the development aspect, the UNDP Subrgional Office also plays an integral role in disaster preparedness and response for the Eastern Caribbean and for the countries served both directly and also in cooperation with other regional and international stakeholders. Following a disaster event, support is provided for relief and early recovery efforts including coordination of UN system responses and facilitating international relief and response.

The Disaster Risk Reduction programme of UNDP Barbados and the OECS has emerged as a major thematic area due to the importance placed by the Senior Management on this area. As a result, almost US$7 million is programmed for 2012.

Existing Activities and Priorities
Some of the main initiatives undertaken or supported recently include: the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy; the PECS Disaster Risk Reduction Programme; the Caribbean Risk Management Initiative (CRMI); the Enhancing Resilience to Reduce Vulnerability in the Caribbean (ERC) project and the Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (R3I). In addition, there have been recovery activities for St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. Finally, UNDP is also partnering with UNISDR LAC and BCPR LAC for the implementation of regional initiatives based on the Sub-regional Office’s knowledge of Caribbean issues and contacts with national and regional partners.

Advocacy and Maintstreaming
UNDP Barbados and the OECS has been one of the initial and continuing sponsors of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy, the regional approach for DRR Mainstreaming left by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). This has involved supporting the various CDM mechanisms such as the Harmonization Council – the stakeholder forum for guiding the regional process. UNDP has also been one of the main and consistent supporters of the annual CDM Conference. UNDP has also supported advocacy at the national levels through the use of modest TRAC resources in countries for community based DRM, public education and awareness building among other areas.

Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery
UNDP Barbados and the OECS supports the UN Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) as well as serving the Eastern Caribbean Development Partner Group on Disaster Management (ECDPDG/DM) through chairing the working group. The ECDPDG/DM is a multi-partner group in support of Barbados and the OECS to address response and recovery to natural hazards. The group is chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator and co-chaired by CDEMA. It is covered by an Operations Plan and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The main objective of the group is to coordinate external assistance to ensure effective support following the impact of a natural hazard.


The Regional Risk Reduction (R3i) Documentary