Jamaica Hosts UN-Backed Regional Talks on Disaster Preparedness

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 21, 2013

Above: Kingston (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica hosted Latin American and Caribbean leaders last week for a three-day conference on disaster preparedness and humanitarian coordination.

The talks, supported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, were aimed at “improving humanitarian coordination mechanisms through building stronger collaboration between governments and the humanitarian community,” according to the UN.

“Millions of people are affected every year by floods, earthquakes and hurricanes, as well as the impact of rapid urbanization and climate change,” said UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, who participated in the annual forum.

The group agreed to “further enhance” regional cooperation on disaster preparedness, the UN said, adopting a plan of action to support countries and regional organizations to strengthen early warning systems.

They also agreed to set up a “Regional Logistics Centre for Humanitarian Assistance for the Americas” in Panama, with a sub-regional hub in Jamaica.

“We agreed that to meet the challenges of humanitarian crises we need to use communications technology, use the experience of the corporate sector, and better engage with communities themselves, to improve the way we work,” Amos said.

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