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NEMO stages consultation on Comprehensive Disaster Management

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Contact: Julita Peter

Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - The Caribbean region is being urged to develop measures that would assist in minimising the loss associated with natural disasters. Representing the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Relief Agency (CDERA) at a consultation in St. Lucia earlier this week, Jeremy Collymore, Coordinator of CDERA says his organisation is seeking to build a framework for dialoguing on the priorities for accelerating disaster loss reduction initiatives.

The St. Lucia meeting was coordinated by the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) and brought together representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), USAID, ministers of government, permanent secretaries, heads of private and public sector agencies, and chairpersons of local disaster management committees, to discuss a comprehensive disaster management mechanism in an effort to have this strategy embraced by every sector of society.

According to Collymore, “Disaster management must be seen as an ingredient in the development policy process as oppose to a relief activity. To pursue an agenda that is not informed by this understanding will raise many questions about our participation in international forum like the World Summit on Sustainable Development.”

Lauding St. Lucia’s effort in the area of disaster management Collymore says, “I hope that the support coming from CDERA and its UN partners will add value to your efforts.”

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