Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, says the region must place high priority on the issue of disaster management. He noted that the Caribbean region is considered to be the second most disaster prone in the world, and revealed that for Jamaica alone, it is conservatively estimated that for the past 10 years, the country has lost $14 billion annually, dealing with damage caused by impact of hazards, such as hurricane and floods.
The Minister pointed out that this is more than the capital budget of many government departments. Mr. Arscott, who is the incoming Chair of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Council of Ministers, was speaking at the opening ceremony and cocktail reception for the third meeting of the Council of the CDEMA, at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, on June 28.
“We have to take a new, more mature look, at the things we must do to safeguard our peoples,” the Minister told the group of policy makers and government officials from CDEMA member states. He urged the participants to “look with new eyes” as to where they want CDEMA to be in the next five, 10 or 20 years, as they deliberate during the meeting.
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