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Jamaica, as a Caribbean island, is vulnerable to a number of natural hazards such as storms and hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and landslides, fire, drought and disease which affect people and communities across the island. In fact, according to the Natural Disaster Hotspot study by the World Bank in 2008, Jamaica has the second highest economic risk exposure to two or more hazards in the Caribbean and Latin American region. The cumulative impact of disasters associated with natural hazards has been recognized as a key challenge to attaining the Millennium Development Goals.
UNDP's programme in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) gives support to initiatives aimed at reducing Jamaica's level of hazard vulnerability and the devastating cost of damage to the nation through measures of preparedness, response and recovery. . By building national capacities to manage risks, UNDP helps Jamaica to decrease mortality significantly, reduce losses due to recurrent disasters and severe impacts, accelerate post-disaster recovery and protect development investments.
UNDP supports Jamaica's efforts to reduce disaster risks and the social, economic and environmental impacts, in keeping with priorities of the Government of Jamaica's Vision 2030 National Development Plan.
UNDP contributes to Jamaica's resilience over the long term by addressing climate change issues within the discipline of Disaster Risk Reduction, and by supporting the efforts of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM)
Wherever the next emergency occurs, UNDP is likely to be there to help bridge the gap between emergency relief and long-term development. This is achieved through:
The Western Caribbean Donor Group
UNDP continues to support the UN Resident Coordinator as co-chair of the Western Caribbean Donor Group (WCDG) which is the mechanism for a coordinated donor response to disaster situations. UNDP both participates in and coordinates the response in support of emergency humanitarian aid.
Supporting the Enhancement of National Capacity for Crisis Prevention & Recovery
UNDP also manages the coordinated UN response mechanism to source appropriate funds for early recovery through its Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) partner in Panama.
In particular, UNDP has supported the development and implementation of Early Recovery Plans after the devastation of Tropical Storms and hurricanes and has supported a key study on the hazard risks of Portmore, one of Jamaica's most vulnerable communities. The study also gave projections for the socioeconomic impact that would be sustained from a major earthquake in that community.
Caribbean Risk Management Initiative
Jamaica is one of the beneficiaries of the Caribbean Risk Management Initiative (CRMI) II project is designed to build capacity across the Caribbean region for the management of climate-related risk. The CRMI II is led by the Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) UNDP Office, in close collaboration with partners and other UNDP Country Offices in the region. In Jamaica the initiative has been supported by the UNDP Country Office and the Office for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. (ODPEM). More >
Other key initiatives supported by UNDP have included:
In all these activities UNDP fosters partnerships with both state and non-state entities as well as the international donor community, the UN Country Team and stakeholders of the broadest level to reduce the vulnerabilities of those most at risk and to foster the notion that managing risk is everyone's business.
More information on:
Preventing Crisis, Enabling Recovery: 2010 Annual Report (Chapter I Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery)