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Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, has joined with international voices in underscoring the importance of regional and international cooperation in disaster risk reduction.

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) is observed annually on October 13 and the 2021 edition will focus on ‘International Cooperation for Developing Countries to Reduce their Disaster Risk and Disaster Losses’.

Minister McKenzie acknowledged and again expressed gratitude for the support of international partners and reaffirmed Jamaica’s commitment to its role as one of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s subregional focal points.

“Jamaica remains grateful for the continued cooperation of our international partners, who have bolstered our disaster risk reduction planning and implementation and our recovery efforts,” he said.

“When you think about the provision of manpower, training, donation of equipment and of a monetary kind, we are looking at our partners in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the European Union, the United States Embassy in Kingston, the Canadian High Commission and the Government of Japan, just to name a few. And being in the position we are, Jamaica offers similar assistance to our Caribbean brothers and sisters and we will continue to do so to reduce our combined disaster risk and losses,” the Minister continued.

This sentiment echoes that of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, who in a UNDRR statement on IDDRR said: “UN Member States were absolutely right to include international cooperation to developing countries as one of the seven targets when the Sendai Framework was adopted in 2015. Only together can we make true progress towards a safer and more resilient planet.”

Minister McKenzie shared that in light of upcoming discussions and the level of disaster risk faced by the region, the focus of IDDRR is timely.

“It is without a doubt that disaster recovery can be a long and difficult road, particularly for developing countries like those in the Caribbean. International and regional cooperation plays a critical role in that recovery, which is why this year’s focus for IDDRR is apt, especially with Jamaica hosting the seventh Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean from November 1 to 4. Our losses and recovery from disasters, as a region, will be examined and discussed there,” he said.

The Regional Platform is being hosted by a Caribbean country for the first time and will commence with its preparatory event, the inaugural Youth Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean, on October 26.

The Youth Forum is an addition of the Minister. For more information visit https://rp-americas.undrr.org.

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