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The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is looking to increase the pool of funds available for disaster response.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, said he will be making representation to the Ministry of Finance and Planning with the view of accessing a percentage of the funds paid to the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility.

If this is granted, he said, it will assist the country in boosting the National Disaster Fund (NDF).

The Minister was giving an update on the state of the country’s disaster preparedness at Wednesday’s (July 9) Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.

“We have a Bill (Disaster Risk Management Act, 2014) which will seek to increase the Fund further, and that Bill is currently being worked on,” he said.

The Bill seeks to strengthen the country’s overall national disaster preparedness, emergency management and response processes and mechanisms through a range of measures.

A sum of $300 million is available should the island experience a disaster. Of this amount, $250 million comes from the NDF, while the remaining $50 million will be taken from the Consolidated Fund.

The NDF was introduced in 1995 and makes it possible for Jamaica to access money to facilitate mitigation preparedness, rapid early response and recovery to disasters and major incidents.