CARICHAM Advocates for Public-Private Partnerships to Improve Resilience in the Caribbean

Photo description: CARICHAN presentation at the Understanding Risk Management and Risk Financing for Disaster Resilience' Training of Trainers in Singapore.

By: The Network of Caribbean Chambers of Commerce (CARICHAM).
Adapted by: Guadalupe Natareno, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean.

PANAMA CITY, Panama, 16 July, 2019 – Singapore was the host of the 'Understanding Risk Management and Risk Financing for Disaster Resilience' Training of Trainers from June 18th to 21st, 2019. Co-organized and financed by the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Education and Training Institute (GETI), and the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean (ROAMC), this four-day session was attended by officials from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries in the public and private sectors, particularly Government officials of the Ministry of Planning and Finance.

The seminar included a mix of lectures, technical sessions, and interactive case studies. Discussions revolved around the importance of an integrated, systems-based approach to disaster resilience, and how both Public-Private partnerships can reduce vulnerabilities within the sectors. Experiences were shared on business continuity planning and different risk financing methodologies. The objective of this training of trainers was to strengthen the ongoing efforts, together with CDEMA and UNDRR of the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) - some of the most affected by natural hazards - to enhance their risk financing and resilience by better planning for future large-scale disasters in order to save lives and reduce disaster losses.

CARICHAM presented on Engaging the Private Sector for Disaster Resilience, Understanding Private Sector: Business Continuity Importance and Foundational Elements, and Public-Private Partnership for Disaster Resilience. The presentations highlighted how Public-Private Partnerships in Disaster Risk Reduction improve resilience, within ARISE, a private sector initiative that seeks to reduce risks through better decision making, informed by the risk related to preparedness, response and recovery following a disaster. This includes risk-informed investment decisions for a sustainable future. Such partnerships and the enrollment of the private sector in disaster risk reduction respond to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which highlights that addressing underlying disaster risk factors through disaster risk-informed public and private investments is more cost-effective than primary reliance on post-disaster response and recovery, and contributes to sustainable development.

Mr. Faron Lawrence expressed that "the seminar was quite timely, relevant and effective. Representatives from the Public Sector welcomed and appreciated the input of the Private Sector Representatives and there were clear understandings and acceptance that with both sectors working together disaster risk management and resilience can improve exponentially in our region".

Furthermore, Mr. Stephen Lander stated that "the session underscored the importance of preparedness, even for those risk events that are unlikely or unexpected. Singapore is a striking example, having established a robust disaster management plan although the frequency of disasters there is relatively low".

Participants welcomed the opportunity to exchange views on disaster management strategies and challenges in their home countries, and how improved collaboration amongst stakeholders can take place to strengthen the former. They also took the commitment to replicate the training in each of their home countries within the 6 months with the support of UNDRR.

This event was possible thanks to the financial support of the Singapore Cooperation Programme, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the UNDRR's Global Education and Training Institute (GETI).

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