BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Cayman Islands has become the 19th Participating State of the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), with official admission effective September 1, 2020.
In a statement on Friday, CDEMA said the final decision was made at the fifth Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of CDEMA in August, during which the ministers unanimously agreed to admit the British Overseas territory to membership of the regional body.
“On behalf of the council of ministers of CDEMA, I welcome the Cayman Islands to the CDEMA family. It is significant that this admission takes place on the 29th anniversary of the agency’s establishment as it reflects the continued maturity of the organisation and underscores the strong bonds between the CDEMA system and the Government of the United Kingdom,” said chairman of the Council of Ministers, Vincent Bryon.
In response, the premier of the Cayman Islands, Alden McLaughlin, said he was thankful for the opportunity.
“It is a pleasure to become an official member of CDEMA as we have worked together over the years in providing hurricane relief for other Caribbean countries in the aftermaths of disasters. All of us who have been through devastating storms know that it is vital that relief efforts are coordinated. I look forward to a close and productive relationship between CDEMA and the Cayman Islands Government in the future.”
For his part, the territory’s Minister of Home Affairs, Tara Rivers said the membership will help “to formalise Cayman’s commitment to our Caribbean neighbours while building our own resilience through access to pooled resources as well as shared training and support capabilities”.
And in welcoming the new participating state, CDEMA’s acting Executive Director Elizabeth Riley said that the expansion of the geographical coverage of CDEMA to include the Cayman Islands reiterates the common vulnerability of Caribbean States to multiple hazards.
“More importantly, it underscores the value of working together with common purpose to build resilience to hazards. The CDEMA Coordinating Unit looks forward to serving the Cayman Islands”,” said Riley.