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Regional Workshop Held in Cuba for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Caribbean

HAVANA – The United Nations World Food Programme held the Regional Workshop for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Caribbean between 3-5 December, in order to identify possible areas of cooperation in matters of reducing the risks in disasters happening in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

These three countries, as well as other islands in the Caribbean, are exposed to earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts and other consequences of climate change. According to the Economical Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), only in the period between 1990 and 2008, 165 natural disasters have occurred in the Caribbean, with losses that add up to 136 thousand millions of dollars.

“The impact of a disaster hits hard on the most vulnerable population, specially affecting their households and their means of subsisting,” said the WFP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Miguel Barreto.

The regional workshop will feature the participation of government officials from the three previously mentioned countries, as well as representatives from the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC).

The workshop has the objective to promote the coordination, encourage the exchange of good practices and learned lessons, and identify the strengths and needs that allow each country to increase their respective management skills in order to reduce the risk from disasters. Another objective is to promote the coordination of actions and the benefits of mutual aid for the strengthening of their preparation skills and emergency response.

Meanwhile, WFP supports the governments in the strengthening of their preparation skills and emergency response, from the perspective of food and nutrition security. This is achieved through the implementation of programs and projects of disaster risk reductions and the adaptation of climate change.