Announcement of a publication
Assistance to improve local agricultural emergency preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hurricane related disasters
Grenada Case Study
Natural disasters have severely destabilized the socio-economic fabric of the Caribbean region in the last two decades, with the most devastating impacts experienced in 2004. According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, at least 6,000 lives were lost, and over one million people were affected by natural disasters in the region in 2004.
Comprehensive assessments of the impacts of natural disasters on five Caribbean countries revealed that the extraordinary active hurricane season during that year resulted in damages approximating US $5.7 billion. Moreover, the productive sectors which include agriculture accounted for over one third (35.2%) of associated damages and losses. Such events have exposed the socio-cultural and environmental vulnerabilities of the Caribbean basin, and the urgent need to rethink disaster management options. A comprehensive approach to disaster risk reduction however, has not been integrally incorporated into the agriculture sector within the region. This strategic deficient landscape has significantly reduced the resilience of the sector to cope with extreme hydro-meteorological hazards such as Hurricane Ivan. In recognition of the immense negative impact of the 2004 hurricane season on the farming community, and the urgent call for assistant from regional policy makers, the Food and Agricultural Organization funded the regional project “Assistance to improve local agricultural emergency preparedness in Caribbean countries highly prone to hurricane related disasters.” The project implemented in four Caribbean countries seeks to:
“assist governments of participating countries to support the food security of farmers in the most hazard prone areas by improving institutional frameworks and technical options for hurricane related disaster preparedness, emergency response and post emergency agricultural assistance (FAO, 2006).”
This report highlights the main outcomes of Phase 1 of the project. Interim findings and recommendations are summarized along the following headings: profile of pilot sites, recommendations to augment the disaster risk management framework, and assessment of good practices.
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