Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA and Ambassador Alejandro Daneri, President of the White Helmets Commission at the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CDEMA and the Republic of Argentina, White Helmets Commission at the Baobab Towers.

MOU to advance hurricane preparedness in Caribbean

“We know of the concern of all countries for making the Caribbean a less exposed, more prepared and resilient area. Representatives of Caribbean countries, allow me to reiterate the willingness and commitment of Argentina and the White Helmets to help achieve a degree of preparedness commensurate to the emergencies you may face and the communities of your countries to build a more resilient region,” assured Ambassador Alejandro Daneri, President, White Helmets Commission, and The Republic of Argentina, at the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CDEMA and the Republic of Argentina – White Helmets Commission.

The Signing took place last Thursday at the Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael during the hosting of the ninth Meeting of CDEMA’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

Daneri stated, “I think this MOU embodies the long, close and fruitful working relationship with CDEMA and with the Caribbean Countries. Just to mention some recent endeavours, in the past five years, White Helmets developed more than 20 activities in this region exposed and vulnerable to climatic phenomena. Actions ranging from regional workshops on reducing disaster risk and community strengthening, to sending to the region humanitarian supplies, even rehabilitation actions, such as the case of the joint mission White Helmets – OAS developed in December 2017 in Dominica after Hurricane Maria.

"We also know about the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) that the Caribbean possesses and with which White Helmets can collaborate in the framework of the deployment of emergency operations. It is also in our agenda to share the White Helmets experience on the volunteering mechanism for humanitarian assistance.”

Therefore, he added, “I would like to present to you the development of an online workshop directed to the strengthening of the Volunteering Capacity Coordination in Disaster Risk Management and resilience. The objective is to present a model capable to be replicated by the countries of the region based on the practice of White Helmets volunteering and the experience of the project implemented between White Helmets, and the Office of Disaster Preparedness Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Jamaica, where volunteer management tools have been developed, and whose implementation counted with the invaluable support from the Executive Director of CDEMA..”

The Ambassador added, “We are in discussion with the Director of CDEMA about the project “Play and Learn with White Helmets” whose objective is to strengthen children’s capacities in terms of disaster risk reduction, through play activities. We believe that this Argentine project could be complemented with the Model Save Schools Programme (MSSP), joining efforts to benefit one of the most vulnerable groups in case of disasters: girls and boys. We have a lot of work to do. With Director Ronald Jackson we will be meeting in June in Cartagena, in the meetings of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. During its proceedings, Argentina will chair the Parallel Session “Strengthening Mechanisms of International Cooperation for risk reduction and emergency response”. We have invited CDEMA to be part of the Session together with other important actors and partners in the Americas.”

Executive Director of CDEMA, Ronald Jackson added, “I am happy about the signing of the MOU it is long in coming on advancing our volunteer programme. We have tried over the last three to four years to springboard the experience in Jamaica into a broader regional initiative recognising that many of our states have been talking about advancing volunteerism in support of the disaster management programme. At CDEMA we seek to identify good practices and opportunities and to package these and model those in our states based on the needs identified. The signing of this MOU is a culmination of negotiation, dialogue and finding a great space for us to hedge this collaboration and cooperation. It is not only going to be in the area of volunteerism but also in terms of how we can bolster and better coordinate the external supporting an emergency response.” (NB)

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