Government of Saint Luca

Go to Homepage


[Site Map]

[Contact Us]

Search this Site

OECS and USAID to Focus on Disaster Risk Reduction at the Community Level

Governor General
Prime Minister
The Cabinet
The Senate
House of Assembly
St. Lucia Ambassadors
The Constitution
The Staff Orders

National Television Network

Saint Lucia Gazette
Press Releases

Saint Lucia 25th Independence Celebrations

About Saint Lucia
Frequently Asked Questions
Web Links
Government Directory
Browse by Agency
Site Help
Subscribe to NEMO News
Updates to Hurricane Frances

Weather Information Service Number

(758) 454-3452

Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - A Memorandum of Understanding signed between the United Sates Agency for International Development (USAID) and the OECS Disaster Risk Reduction Program is expected to go a along way towards reducing the region’s risk profile.

USAID Mission Director Ms. Karen Turner says since the Caribbean is well known for its vulnerability to natural disasters, the United States government believes Disaster Risk Reduction and Management are important economic considerations for the region.

Addressing officials at the signing ceremony on Tuesday, September 20th, at the Headquarters of the OECS Secretariat in Castries, Ms. Turner said central to US support for the region’s Disaster Risk Reduction Program, will be a five year development strategy which is being implemented over the period 2005 to 2009.

She described Disaster Risk Reduction as an integral element of economic policy planning and, most importantly, economic policy implementation.

“This particular initiative could not come at a more relevant time. After a very active hurricane season last year and an even more active season this year – and especially in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina – the importance of being better prepared for natural disasters, such as hurricanes and being proactive in reducing the risk of catastrophic loss from such disasters cannot be overemphasized.”

According to Ms. Turner “No longer should we create assets unless we simultaneously undertake actions to ensure we can preserve those assets”. She observed that “Social progress cannot be made if every few years we are in the position of merely replacing critical infrastructure and assets that have been destroyed as a result of a natural disaster.”

OECS Director General Dr. Len Ishmael co-signed the agreement and welcomed the program to the region. Dr. Ishmael says she is pleased with how quickly USAID has moved to operationalize the program, which she describes as goodwill coming at a time when the region is going through very sobering times, economically and socially.

“In fact we saw very realistically the impact of one external event, which was hurricane Ivan last year; when the economic performance of Grenada was projected to have had an economic growth of 5.4 percent last year and in fact what happened in the space of 12 hours was that it’s potential for GDP was wiped out for two years,” Dr. Ishmael added.

Home ] Up ] [Site Help]

© 2005 Government Information Service. All rights reserved.

Read our privacy guidelines.