The Government of the Virgin Islands will host a high level delegation of United Nations experts at a workshop to draw attention to gender differences in responding to, and recovering from natural disasters on May 23 to 24.
The workshop will be held at The Moorings Conference Room, Wickham’s Cay II, and is open to the public, (free of charge) on the first day only; registration commences at 8.30 a.m.
Assistant Director of Projects in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Duane Fraites said, “It is very important to understand how the lives of women and men, girls and boys, are affected differently by natural disasters. This allows us to plan to meet their needs as we develop our disaster readiness plans and rebuild the beautiful Virgin Islands.”
“Addressing the specific needs of women and men both in our plans to prepare for disasters and in our recovery process will lead to the increased welfare of all people of the Virgin Islands,” he added.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Head of Office in the BVI and workshop organiser, Mr. Luis Franciso Thais said, “The first day of the workshop is open to the public, and we hope to have as many civil society leaders attend as possible. This includes our school principals, members of the medical profession and members of the financial services sector. Their experiences in dealing with the needs of women and men, girls and boys, post Hurricane Irma, are very valuable.”
The workshop will have access to high level expertise from United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative for Barbados, Chisa Mikami; UN Resident Co-ordinator for Barbados and OECS, Didier Trebuq; and UN Specialists, Cherise Adjodha and Lyanna R. C. Harracksingh to share their experiences and results from the Caribbean.
The workshop is jointly developed and implemented by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the Office of Gender Affairs, Disaster Recovery Coordinating Committee (DRCC), Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Office of Gender Affairs is the focal point for the Government in the implementation of the National Policy for Gender Equality and Equity. Gender responsive approaches to disaster risk management are in alignment with key goals of the Virgin Islands National Policy for Gender Equity and Equality.
The Department of Disaster Management has also been working at the national level incorporating gender equality considerations in disaster risk management, particularly through the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy as well as the community trainings and other capacity building initiatives.