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Barbados, August 27, 2004 (CDERA) – A lack of accessible comprehensive information on the impact of natural and man-made disasters in the Caribbean has been hindering the work of disaster management organizations in the region.


An initial effort to address this is being taken by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA). The Agency is establishing a comprehensive database which will include types of disasters, types of hazards, countries affected, numbers of casualties and fatalities, number of buildings/facilities loss or damaged (such as schools, utilities, health care institutions, roads, hotels, commercial/industrial, parks and beaches, agricultural produce). It will be made available in the form of an online searchable database on the CDERA website and through the first annual Caribbean Disaster Data Book to be published in 2005.


“Data for Decision Making” is the focus of this exercise which is being supported with technical assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the Caribbean Disaster Management (CADM) project.  JICA has provided the services of Mr Masaru Arakida, Senior Researcher at the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC). The Centre has considerable experience in collecting, collating, and publishing statistical disaster information for the countries in Asia. Mr Arakida will be working with CDERAs Public Education and Information Unit to develop the database structure and a collections procedure.


CDERA will also be harmonizing its disaster events database with the new GLIDE (GLobal unique disaster IDEntifier number) being used worldwide. All disaster information databases are implementing this cataloguing system so as to be able to adequately track the impact of multi-country hazards and to avoid duplication.


This effort by CDERA to establish a reliable database for the Caribbean will feed into the EM-DAT international database which catalogues emergency events from around the world. It is an essential step in CDERAs continued pursuit of its mandate as a disaster information clearing house for the Caribbean.


The Consultant will be meeting with a number of key stakeholders including the national disaster offices, the Government Statistical Services, the FAO, IICA, PAHO, Seismic Research Unit of the UWI, the Earthquake Unit in Jamaica, Caribbean Epidemiology Centre, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Caribbean Disaster Information Network, and the Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and the Caribbean.



Terry Ally, Public Information Specialist

Tel: (246) 425-0386




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