JIS News

State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, says that the young people must have a voice in disaster mitigation discussions and initiatives.

“They bring a unique voice to the table and represent a subset of the population that stands to be most impacted by the increased risk and adverse and diverse effects of disasters,” he said.

Mr. Morgan was speaking at a Youth Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean held on October 26 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

The event brought together participants, aged 15 to 24, from the Caribbean, North, Central and South America.

The State Minister noted that countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are more susceptible to the vagaries of natural events – drought, earthquake, flooding, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes and “children are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of climate disaster in their physical, mental, nutritional needs, access to education, and economic opportunities”.

He argued that these events also cause disruption in their homes and family lives and expose them to violence and other limiting side effects that impact their development.

Mr. Morgan said that consideration must also be given to the detrimental impact of man-made and non-traditional types of disasters, such as crime and violence, the socio-economic fallout from the diminished quality of the labour force and, most recently, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He urged youth to get involved in creating solutions to these challenges.

“I ask that, as young people, you continue to look at the world we live in and seek to collaborate towards positive action for change,” he said.

The virtual forum provided a platform for young people across the region to express their views on disaster risk reduction, including sharing their concerns, priorities, and proposals with decisionmakers.

It served as a precursor to the seventh Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean, which will be held from November 1 to 4 under the theme: ‘Building Resilient Economies in the Americas and the Caribbean’.


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