JIS News

Deputy Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Richard Thompson, says Jamaica should benefit from its End-to-End Supply Chain Management Workshop, currently under way at its Haining Road office, in Kingston.

In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Thompson said the main focus of the workshop is around disaster relief chain management.

“It looks at how you move goods from one point to persons who are impacted by disasters. So, it looks at the humanitarian relief response. The workshop is geared towards persons in the risk management arena, mainly logisticians, but you do have emergency management personnel being in the workshop and risk management specialists,” Mr. Thompson said.

The four-day workshop, which began on Tuesday, January 22, is a collaborative effort of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the ODPEM.

It is exploring areas of disaster relief chain management to include logistics planning, distribution, packaging and the monitoring and tracking of relief items after a disaster. The participants will also visit the Kingston port and receive first-hand experience of packaging and distribution logistics.

“The training is being delivered as part of CDEMA’s Regional Training Centre Programme, which looks at the needs of our participating states and addresses those needs based on what is being expressed. This series of End-to-End Supply Chain Management Workshops is part of our 2018/19 work plan being rolled out in four subregional focal points. We have representation from three other countries within the Jamaican subregion – Haiti, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas,” Workshop presenter and CDEMA’s Communication and Education Specialist, Clive Murray, told JIS News.

Subregional focal points (SRFPs) are key elements of the CARICOM regional disaster response system, and Jamaica has lead responsibility for immediate response within its subregion. The four SRFPs of the CDEMA system are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Along with regional participants, the workshop is also being attended by key players in local disaster response, such as the Parish Disaster Coordinators from municipal corporations, Disaster Coordinators from the ODPEM and representatives from the Jamaica Defence Force and various ministries of government.

The World Food Programme, which has been in partnership with CDEMA since 2007 and has provided logistics support and tangible resources, such as portable mobile warehouses and electricity generators, will be donating the food items brought in for the workshop.

“We are going to do a mock distribution which means we will be creating a beneficiary list among the participants and handing out food rations based on the size of that family. The food will not be consumed by the participants but donated to a worthy cause chosen by the ODPEM,” said Supply Chain Manager for the World Food Programme in Barbados, Frank Cawkwell, who is also a facilitator at the workshop.

In the meantime, Mr. Thompson said the workshop will also look at the country’s disaster response mechanism and “how we fit, from a logistics standpoint, under the CDEMA framework”.