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ODPM PARTNERS WITH UNICEF AND MINISTRY OF EDUCATION TO BOLSTER DISASTER RESILIENCE IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

 

ODPM PARTNERS WITH UNICEF AND MINISTRY OF EDUCATION TO BOLSTER DISASTER RESILIENCE IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

On Wednesday 18th May 2022, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) hosted a technical meeting with representatives of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Eastern Caribbean Office, the Ministry of Education, and a technical team from the ODPM, with a main focus of strengthening support to the education system and children of Trinidad and Tobago. The meeting was held at the ODPM’s National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), Mausica.

 

In the event of natural or man-made hazards / disasters, the protection of children is paramount, so as to prevent exposing them to neglect, or exploitation, etc. For this reason, the ODPM in strengthening disaster resilience in our vulnerable population is partnering with UNICEF and the Ministry of Education.

 

Discussions centred on support from UNICEF to assist schools in developing Emergency Response Plans (ERP). In the event of a crisis or disaster, a robust emergency response plan at each school can reduce the social and economic impact on the education sector.

 

Other areas discussed included bolstering support in conducting Rapid Damage Assessments after a disaster event has occurred. These assessments are critical so as to determine the amount of damage and the level of resources that schools would require in order to recover from a disaster event.

 

In attendance from UNICEF were Mr. Mark Choonoo, Emergency Specialist, and Mr. Abel Barros, Supplies and Logistics Mission Specialist, along with Ms. Petrina Clarke, HSE Coordinator, and Ms. Shirma Swan from Student Support Services of the Ministry of Education, and ODPM’s Operations Manager, Mr. Dennis Marcelle, Planning and Development Officer, Mr. Anwar Baksh and Corporate Communications Officer, Mrs. Donneyal Farray-Comma.

 

Following the meeting, Mr. Mark Choonoo, Emergency Specialist and Mr. Abel Barros, Supplies and Logistics Mission Specialist of UNICEF, accompanied by the ODPM’s Operations Manager Mr. Dennis Marcelle visited the ODPM warehouse to view the National Disaster Stores and the UNICEF items that are stored at the Camp Cumuto Facility. All donated items are audited annually by the respected donors to maintain high levels of transparency.

 

This exercise is important, as the ODPM holds the national strategic reserves of resources, to aid in responding to complex, local and regional emergencies or disasters. The ODPM continues to partner with regional and international agencies to strengthen our nation’s disaster resilience.

 

 

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