Saint Lucia Initiates Hurricane Season Anticipatory Action Workshops

Vulnerable communities made ready ahead of hurricane season with anticipatory action workshops.
- Advertisement -

St. Lucia – As the 2024 Hurricane Season approaches, Saint Lucia has initiated proactive steps to protect vulnerable communities from the devastating impact of natural disasters. A series of Anticipatory Action workshops has begun, led by the World Food Programme (WFP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment.

Vulnerable communities made ready ahead of hurricane season with anticipatory action workshops.

In 2023, Saint Lucia, and other Caribbean governments participated in an initiative led by the WFP, focusing on the importance of anticipatory action in disaster preparedness. Since then, the WFP and the Ministry of Equity, have been diligently working on a plan tailored to Saint Lucia’s needs.

“What anticipatory action does is to provide support to the most vulnerable before a hurricane strikes so that they can stock up, or whether it be to buy a sheet of galvanize or board up a window, they will have the funds to do that. We are discussing this concept with the Ministry of Equity. It’s a very innovative concept and new for the Caribbean, so the Ministry of Equity and the government are really leading the way in the Eastern Caribbean for that discussion,” says Lilia Ramjeawan, Programme Policy Officer with WFP.

The project uses pre-defined triggers, agreed to by both the Government and WFP, to activate funds to provide cash transfers to households in vulnerable communities nationwide.

“You would appreciate that a lot of the work has to be done way in advance of a hurricane. We need to know who the persons are and inform them that they are on the program. We need to get their bank accounts, or just how to reach them like phone numbers, etc. If we are assisting, then how do we reach you? We need to find out who our teams on the ground would be to assist such persons.”

Among those being trained are Social Transformation Officers, Welfare Officers, and Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) field officers, who will play pivotal roles in implementing the project. Follow-up training sessions will focus on equipping participants with practical skills for utilizing tools in data collection and analysis. These tools will not only inform anticipatory action strategies but also enhance decision-making across all Ministry programs.

Both NEMO and Met Service officials have indicated an above-normal hurricane season for the Caribbean region this year, with 23 named storms predicted, including five major hurricanes.

Through data collection, training, and collaboration, Saint Lucia is poised to mitigate the impact of disasters while safeguarding its most vulnerable citizens.

- Advertisement -