Speaking on the opening day of the training event, Charles described the Caribbean as the second most disaster-prone region in the world.
Minister of Labour and Social Security Pearnel Charles Jr. on Monday endorsed the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) Shock-Responsive Social Protection training as critical to building the necessary strategic and technical competencies that will strengthen Jamaica’s ability to respond to disasters.
Charles added that climatic events, which are projected to increase, helped to exacerbate social insecurity.
“The geographic position of the small island developing states within our region makes our Caribbean countries particularly vulnerable to climatic events, such as hurricanes and associated hazards including rainfall, winds, and storm surges during the hurricane season added to this, we regularly experience our share of human-induced hazards, making the Caribbean the second most disaster-prone region in the world,” he said.
“The threat is compounded by socio-economic realities, and in some instances, lack of information, that often force many of our most vulnerable population to establish their homes in river courses and other flood-prone areas, and engage in survival practices that progressively endanger their lives and livelihoods and ultimately increase our collective vulnerability to disaster,” he added.
In making the link between social insecurity and the devastating impact of climate-related disasters, Charles noted that effective social protection policies should serve to reduce exposure to risks and enhance capacity to manage shocks.
He went on to explain that in preparing for climate-related events, which are increasingly likely due to global warming, information was paramount underscoring the importance of WFP’s training programme, which he noted builds on regional evidence generated through research.
According to Charles, the information provided through the WFP’s training will serve to develop and enhance capacities to strengthen social protection systems and their scalability in response to shocks.
“Everyone has a fundamental right to social protection. My ministry is committed to its mission of delivering effective social protection services that empower individuals and their families, and so I wholeheartedly endorse the objectives of this workshop,” said Charles.
“I invite each and every person to participate fully, and to make use of this opportunity to build on our collective ability to respond appropriately to the ever-increasing exposure to disasters, natural and manmade,” he added.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) training event on “Shock-Responsive Social Protection” was held from Monday, August 14 to Thursday, August 17.
Attendees included management practitioners from within the Government of Jamaica, primarily from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management.
Originally published by UN Jamaica.
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