Barbados. New UN Disaster Preparedness Center Built on ‘Climate Change Front Lines’ |

The facility is a partnership between the UN agency, the government of Barbados and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and will be located at the international airport in the capital, Bridgetown.

Once operational, the hub will support air and sea operations and serve as a prepositioning and response center, as well as a dispatch point for relief items.

WFP Chief David Beasley joined Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and CDEMA Executive Director Elizabeth Riley for the groundbreaking ceremony.

At the service of the region

“The Caribbean islands are on the front line of climate change. As hurricanes become more frequent and violent, we must be fully prepared so that lives are saved, livelihoods are defended and hard-won development gains are protected,” he said.

“This facility will allow our partners across the region to serve Caribbean residents even more effectively when needed.”

Disasters and damage

Caribbean countries are highly exposed to natural hazards such as hurricanes, storms, floods, droughtsand volcanic eruptions.

WFP reported that over the past seven decades, 511 disasters worldwide have affected small island developing states.

More than half, 324, happened in the caribbeanwhere economies have suffered six times more than major countries.

Construction of the hub was funded in part by Canada, the European Union and the United States.