The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Mexico have agreed to strengthen cooperation in disaster risk management.
The agreement forms part of a Joint Declaration issued at the end of the Fourth CARICOM-Mexico Summit held in Belize on Wednesday under the joint chairmanship of CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada and the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto.
The Mexico-CARICOM Strategy for Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management will have three main lines of work.
Three main objectives
The strategy, will, one: strengthen initiatives already in place; two: promote cooperation in training and the exchange of best practices in a range of relevant areas such as early warning, awareness raising, emergency response, rehabilitation of physical and telecommunications infrastructure, risk transfer and public private partnerships for disaster response and reconstruction.
Finally, it will promote joint action in multilateral fora while also mobilizing international support to strengthen the Caribbean’s institutional capabilities for disaster risk management.
The international support will cover economic issues such as use of GDP per capita to graduate CARICOM Member States from concessionary financing, and preventing de-risking measures.
Caribbean, Mexican disasters
Last month, Mexico suffered two major earthquakes which killed hundreds and caused widespread damage, while several CARICOM countries took direct hits from two category five hurricanes, Irma and Maria, which caused a number of deaths and billions of dollars in damage.
Wednesday’s summit approved the seventh Mexico-CARICOM Technical Cooperation Program (2017-2019) which establishes a new paradigm for cooperation.
In addition to disaster risk management and recovery, the program will also cover trade and investment, health, Statistics and ICT, in line with the CARICOM Strategic Plan 2015-2019 and the global development agenda.
Scholarships offered by Mexico
The meeting also welcomed the offer by Mexico of 150 scholarships for training Caribbean teachers of Spanish as a second language which should further strengthen communication between the two sides.
Meanwhile, the Caribbean Communities, with support from the United Nations, is organizing a Donor Conference to mobilize international support for the post hurricane recovery effort.
CARICOM and Mexico have agreed to collaborate to ensure the success of the conference to be held at UN Headquarters in New York on the November 21.
For more on Caribbean Community disaster initiatives, click the link: Nordic region to assist Caribbean Community states affected by hurricanes