#Jamaica, September 11, 2017 – Kingston – UN Development Programme (UNDP) offices in the Caribbean have joined forces in a Regional Recovery Strategy for Irma-affected Small Island Developing States. This includes debris and waste removal, immediate short-term employment for affected women and men and community infrastructure rehabilitation, focusing on Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean countries.
The strategy will be developed and implemented in support of and upon request from national authorities, coordinated by UNDP in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, which also cover several other island states.
The temporary training and employment for affected women and men aims to quickly inject cash in affected communities, tools, equipment and technical capacity of professionals such as engineers and architects. The strategy also entails training and support to community-based micro and small businesses to help resume economic activities.
A dozen UNDP crisis recovery experts have been deployed to the region and are immediately available to provide assistance.
“Whatever challenges lie ahead, the nations of the Caribbean do not stand alone,” said UNDP Jamaica Resident Representative Bruno Pouezat.
“UNDP continues to monitor all hurricane systems in the region and is on standby to support the region make full recovery, rebuild more resilient economies and institutions, and fulfill the global pledge to leave no one behind”.
Recovery activities will immediately kick off in most affected areas with initiatives showing quick tangible results that can be easily replicated in other areas as needed
“Based on these initial assessments, we will then support the coordination of relief and reconstruction and the mobilization of international resources for the recovery period,” Mr. Poezat added.
UNDP is establishing a technical team that will provide direct support to country offices and affected countries. Implementation could start in the next two weeks depending on government engagement, community interest and logistics.
UNDP has joined forces with sister UN agencies, funds and programmes in deploying first-responder teams. The UNDP office in Jamaica, which also supports Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Bermuda is coordinating first responder teams which started arriving in Jamaica 8 September to travel to Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas together with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. The team includes a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team, to strengthen national capacity to assess damage to infrastructure including water and sanitation and coordinate relief efforts, as well as a UNDP Disaster Reduction Specialist.
To this end, UNDP is also collecting donations online to help women and men in Irma-affected countries rebuild their lives: https://give.undp.org/Irma