Participants at the GCRSP Regional Coordinating Workshop
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- The Caribbean region’s ability to respond to crisis situations and its early warning capacity have been greatly strengthened, thanks to the Global Crisis Response Support Programme (GCRSP).
The two-year programme received 2.6 million euros from the European Union to improve crisis management infrastructures in the region, and included training courses, workshops, and a scenario/simulation exercise. Participating agencies gave the programme a thumbs-up as they believe the benefits derived will have a lasting effect in the region. Participants also expressed that they are now better prepared to respond to crises and potential conflict situations.
In addition, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS), encouraging information sharing and cooperation mechanisms. The MoU also facilitates monitoring and controlling the spread of diseases among Caribbean islands, by tracking the movement of persons.
The programme ended with a regional coordinating workshop and closing ceremony in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on January 26, 2017. Executive directors of the four agencies and the head of the European Union Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago, agreed that the knowledge transferred has given the agencies the impetus needed to continue working together to achieve enhanced regional coordination.
The GCRSP started in 2015 and ran for two years. While its primary focus was to strengthen crisis response and early warning capacity, it also allowed the agencies to work as a collaborative and integrative team in areas of key interest such as security, health and natural hazards.
One participant summed up his hope for the programme in these words: “If all participants take back what was learned and are given the opportunity to implement such, this will be the start of a progressive change in how organizations see their roles and the services they provide to the region.”