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CDRU completes review of disaster relief operations

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Friday, February 18, 2005 - A comprehensive operations plan is needed for more efficient management of the Regionís relief operations.  This is one of the recommendations coming out of the recently concluded Caribbean Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) review of its 2004 operations. The proposal calls for a revamping and transformation of the operations order that presently governs the procedural actions for activation and deployment of the CDRU into a more integrated plan. 

The CDRU is a facility provided for under the agreement establishing CDERA for the use and employment of regional disciplined forces in a humanitarian capacity. The Regional Security System/Central Liaison Office in Barbados administers the CDRU on behalf of CDERA as it is staffed by military and police personnel.

The review meeting conducted February 10-11, 2005 at the Accra Beach Hotel, Barbados,  was an opportunity to document the experiences and lessons learnt during the CDRU on the ground operations mainly in Grenada after the devastation by Hurricane Ivan in September last year and to consider actions to build and enhance regional  capacity to provide humanitarian assistance when disaster strikes. The review was attended by representatives from the Regional Security System / Central Liaison Office, Disaster Management Officials, Donor Agencies and the US Government.    

In 2004 the Regional Response Mechanism was tested under very challenging conditions as the region experienced earthquakes, mudslides floods and multi-island impacts during the hurricane season with some countries being impacted twice. The Operations Plan being developed will address a comprehensive range of hazards and multi-island deployment.

The CDRU review and others being conducted at national and sector levels will feed into a system wide review being spearheaded by CDERA to capture and share stakeholders experiences and lessons on the response and management of 2004 events. The recommendations will be major inputs into initiatives to improve and strengthen national and Regional disaster management capacity. A programme of action coming out of the meeting will highlight opportunities for moving the revised plans through their respective institutional processes to gain approval for implementation ahead of the 2005 hurricane season.


Donovan Gentles
Preparedness & Response Manager
Tel: (246) 425-0386

Terry Ally
Information Specialist, CDERA
Tel: (246) 425-0388

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