JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has called for special differential treatment for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the development process, in access to loans, and the terms, conditions and costs of these loans.
“Some countries need debt write off and it has been proven what can be done when debt forgiveness is handled properly’, Mr. Golding told yesterday’s (Dec 7) opening of the 5th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management, at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay.
Mr. Golding said the catastrophic effect of disasters on the SIDS must never be under estimated. He cited Grenada as an example of an economy which had been showing significant growth built up over a 10 year period which was all destroyed in just 2 hours by Hurricane Ivan. He appealed to the developed world to carve out some special arrangement for the SIDS because they are subject to natural disasters, some of which are created by what the industrialized world has done to the ecology.
‘We are not having the increase in the number of hurricanes because God has chosen to be unhappy with us. It is because of what has been done to the global climate. Developed countries through their unbridled green house emissions are responsible for much of this. They have a responsibility to help the SIDS to protect themselves a little better and to be able to withstand with more hope, the kind of disasters that they have been exposed to’, he said.
He called on the conference which is being attended by representatives from all over the region, to help in the crusade through their networking contacts, meetings and conferences to virtually evangelise the call that the SIDS must be given some special treatment in managing their development challenges.
The conference, now in its 5th year is the signature forum of the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to review and measure the region’s progress in comprehensive disaster management. It is presented by the Office of Disaster and Emergency Management- ODPEM with sponsorship from a number of international and local agencies including United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Caribbean Risk Management Initiative (CRMI), Department for International Development (DFID), LIME, Jamaica Public Service (JPS) and FLOW.