Caribbean Countries, IOM Address Climate Change and Human Mobility Challenges

Date Publish: 
06/11/2019

Port of Spain – The growing frequency and intensity of tropical storms and other natural disasters have pushed Caribbean countries to prioritise their response planning. Tackling the challenges of human mobility in the context of disasters and climate change in the region has become a top concern.  

This was the focus of a meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, where 18 Caribbean countries and territories and 12 international and regional organizations, as well as observers, gathered last week (6-7 June). 

Organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under the framework of the Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC), the recent event also was supported by the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and the UN Refugee Agency, marking the second regional meeting aimed at supporting technical specialists and government officials to identify gaps related to disasters and displacement and developing policies to enhance the region’s overall preparedness and response capacity.  

“The participation of so many Caribbean countries and territories demonstrates the importance that the region places on addressing together the impacts of climate change on human mobility,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. “Regional cooperation represents a key opportunity for the future. The Caribbean Migration Consultations foster these exchanges on migration issues. Our hope for the CMC is that it enables discussions on migration and climate change and will build on the momentum created from this conference.” 

The discussions focused on four thematic issues: managing disaster displacement risks and the inclusion of human mobility into national and regional disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and adapting planning processes; migration as adaptation to environmental and climate change; protection challenges in the context of human mobility in countries affected by disasters; and addressing cross-border disaster-displacement (migration law and policies).  

“Caribbean countries and regional institutions have made great advances in preventing and addressing environmental migration,” says Pablo Escribano, IOM regional specialist on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change. “Consolidating these initiatives and sharing best practices represent great opportunities to design a way forward and address the challenges together.” 

Among the participants were representatives from countries and territories such as Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.  

Other institutions were also represented at the event, such as the embassies of the United States, Switzerland, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as international and regional organizations such as CARICOM IMPACS, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, CDEMA, OECS, UNHCR, ECLAC, PDD, the German Development Cooperation, academic institutions and other key actors.  

To learn more about the event, go to https://caribbeanmigration.org/events/regional-consultation-towards-framework-regional-cooperation-human-mobility-context-disasters.   

For more information, please contact Brendan Tarnay at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5304, Email: btarnay@iom.int 

Tags: 
Caribbean, cmc

IOM Launches USD 10 Million Appeal to Respond to Hurricane Dorian Damage in The Bahamas

Date Publish: 
11 / 10 / 2019

Nassau – A month after the landing of Hurricane Dorian, IOM has launched a USD 10 million appeal as the funding requirement from September 2019 until April 2020 to enhance its support to the government of The Bahamas related to the recovery efforts. The death toll after the Category-5 storm has increased to 61 persons and over 600 are still missing.

These funds would support IOM operations focusing on Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM); shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI); Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM); Integrated Registration System (SIRA); counter-trafficking; emergency evacuations; protection; disaster risk reduction; livelihoods, and public works. IOM has established already two offices in The Bahamas: Nassau (New Providence) and Marsh Harbour (Abaco), and plans to open a third one in Freeport (Grand Bahamas).

IOM is already supporting The Bahamas with funding from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), representing USD 1.9 million of the appeal. These grants have enabled IOM to start debris removal in Abaco partnering with the NGO Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE).

“Hurricane Dorian caused widespread devastation on the islands of Abaco, from Marsh Harbour to the North, and Grand Bahama, from Pelican Point east to McLean’s Town, leaving behind a trail of destroyed infrastructure and clogged with debris from devastated houses, domestic goods, vehicles and natural debris like trees and mangroves uprooted by the storm surge,” said Nazif Aliu, IOM officer in Abaco. “We are removing over 100 cubic meters of debris daily. This operation is coordinated with the government of The Bahamas, through its emergency response agency NEMA, which is leading the organized planning of debris removal.”

The Government of The Bahamas has formally requested IOM support to relocate Bahamian citizens stranded in the United States after their evacuation following Hurricane Dorian.

Download the appeal here.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 7203 6536, Email: jgallo@iom.int