CDB approves funding to strengthen disaster risk management capacity in Jamaica

The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved grant funding to the Government of Jamaica to strengthen the disaster risk management capacity of Portmore Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Due to its location, geology and socio-economic factors, Portmore is considered to be one of the most vulnerable municipalities in Jamaica to natural hazards, mainly coastal and riverine floods, earthquakes and hurricanes.

Cheryl Dixon, Coordinator, Environmental Sustainability Unit, CDB, notes, “Through this technical assistance grant, the Portmore Municipal Corporation will gain access to the necessary tools, and updated and reliable hazard risk data, to make evidenced-based decisions in respect to disaster risk management (DRM), thus enabling them to effectively coordinate DRM activities and mainstream DRM into its work programme.”

The technical assistance will provide resources to:

  • Revise the Portmore multi-hazard risk profile and disaster risk management (DRM) plan, including guidelines for DRM mainstreaming into key sector development policies and plans;
  • Improve the natural hazards and vulnerability geographical information system (GIS) database, and strengthen the GIS capacity of PMC;
  • Update and expand the Portmore Evacuation Plan, including marking of evacuation routes and installing evacuation signs, as well as conducting evacuation simulation exercises for hurricane and flooding in ten political divisions in Portmore; and
  • Strengthen community disaster resilience.

The EUR332,000 grant, will be allocated from resources provided under the African Caribbean Pacific–European Union (ACP-EU) CDB Natural Disaster Risk Management (NDRM) in the CARIFORUM Countries Programme (ACP-EU-CDB NDRM Programme).

The ACP-EU NDRM Programme is an initiative of the ACP Group funded by the EU and implemented by CDB, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Ministry of the Presidency of the Dominican Republic. It seeks to strengthen regional, national and community-level capacities for preparedness, management and coordinated interventions, and timely response to natural hazards and the effects of climate change.