UNDP Regional Director Inspired by the Resilience of the Dominican PeopleDec 14, 2017
The efforts of the Dominican people to get back on their feet following the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria have made a great impression on UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jessica Faieta. The country was devastated by the Category 5 hurricane which struck the island on the night of September 18th, 2017.
“I am impressed by the people and how much they have already organised themselves, taking advantage of the support that UNDP is providing,” said Faieta, who got a first-hand view of the significant physical damage on her recent visit to the island.
“Dominican’s energy is visible- the efforts to get back on their feet; in cleaning the communities; in making them pretty again; in enabling the kids to go back to school … even as they temporarily fix their houses.” she added.
In addition to the positive attitudes of those affected by the storm, the UNDP’s Regional Director said the application of the help that the international community is providing to the island is visible and encouraging, as was the attitude of the Dominicans affected by the storm.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Planning, Economic Development and Investment, Hon. Dr. John Collin McIntyre, who met with Ms. Faieta, commented on the partnership between the UNDP and the government of Dominica stating, “We are looking forward to the cooperation and the collaboration with the UNDP, most of all in sourcing the necessary expertise in the recovery process, especially with regards to rebuilding as we want to be prepared for the upcoming hurricane season and provide that cover to vulnerable groups.”
Ms. Faieta was in Dominica from Sunday 10th to Tuesday 12th December. She met with the Acting Prime Minister and a number of other government officials as well as UN personnel deployed to Dominica to support the relief and recovery. She also took the opportunity to visit affected communities of Pointe Michel and Fond Cole, to speak with local persons and to view first-hand UNDP supported initiatives. In Pointe Michel, she met with National Employment Programme (NEP) workers who are contracted to clean up the community through the Emergency Employment Programme. While in Fond Cole, she met with members of the Building Damage Assessment (BDA) team who are collecting data on damage to homes across the island.
The UNDP team is assisting the government of Dominica in coordinating the crisis recovery efforts, with focus on rebuilding a more resilient country. The organisation has so far deployed waste management and debris removal experts in the capital Roseau and around the island through the NEP programme. UNDP has also conducted training sessions for over 300 builders who are now certified in climate resilient building practices. Additionally, 130 persons have been assigned with various BDA teams to collect data on island-wide damage to homes. Support to the UNDP activities in Dominica have been facilitated through China Aid with a focus on provision of roofs and building standards; and from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and UKAID for the emergency employment initiative with the NEP.
The organisation has also employed six nationals to form part of its team on island.