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Projects Coordination Committee reviews progress on three projects being implemented by CDERA

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Bridgetown, Barbados, July 22, 2009 (CDERA) - The Joint Project Coordination Committee (JPCC) of three projects being implemented by CDERA, met recently in Barbados to discuss progress to date and recommend actions to ensure the delivery of quality and timely outputs.

This meeting was attended by 19 representatives from the United States Agency for International Development/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the CDERA Coordinating Unit and Participating States, regional seismic agencies and other technical experts such as the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM), and the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC).

The projects reviewed by the JPCC were the Earthquake Readiness Capacity Building (ERCB) Project, Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System (TCHWS) Project and the Enhancing the Effectiveness of Information and Communication Technology Applications and Tools for Disaster Management in the Caribbean Region (IDRC/ICT) Project. They are being funded by the Government of Austria, USAID/OFDA and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) respectively and are expected to close later this year.

These projects will deliver products and tools that will be integrated into safer building practices, early warning systems, emergency communications and public education and awareness programmes on various hazards in CDERA Participating States

Specifically, products of the ERCB project will include the Earthquake Readiness WebPages that will be accessible through the CDERA website, public service announcements for radio and television, a "drop, cover and hold on" jingle, an interactive toolkit for primary school children in the 7-11 age range and other toolkits for various target groups.

The IDRC/ICT Project has been conducting studies on ICT applications in emergency operations in relation to the use of ham radios, e-messaging and GIS technology in CDERA Participating States. This Project is also funding the training of ham radio operators and other personnel in emergency communications in Saint Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda and the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technology in flood early warning systems in Grenada.

Under the TCHWS project, a model tsunami warning protocol and Standard Operating Procedures have been developed for the region and these are expected to be adapted to suit the national context for CDERA Participating States. As one of the four Pilot States that will benefit directly from this process, the Barbados protocol and SOPs were assessed by the JPCC.

Ms Andria Grosvenor, Technical Manager, Preparedness & Country Support, CDERA said, "These projects represent a watershed period in disaster management in the Caribbean and truly embody the spirit and sentiment of Comprehensive Disaster Management. They clearly demonstrate that the transition to CDEMA - the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, is more than a name change."

The JPCC commended CDERA on the results achieved so far and proposed strategies for optimal, sustainable results and impact.

For more information on the projects please visit http://www.cdera.org/projects/