Caribbean: Hurricanes and Tornadoes

Department for International Development written question – answered on 18th September 2018.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that the (a) Caribbean British Overseas Territories and (b) Commonwealth Caribbean islands are prepared for hurricane season.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Joint with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK provided over £196m in response to the devastating hurricanes in September 2017 in the Caribbean. In preparation for this year’s hurricane season, the Department for International Development (DFID), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence have coordinated response plans to support British Overseas Territories and independent Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean. RFA Mounts Bay is in the region with helicopter airlift capacity and stocks of humanitarian relief items. UK supplies have also been pre-positioned on the island of Antigua. In addition the Secretary of State for International Development has instructed the department to ensure that any response to the impact of hurricanes in the British Overseas Territories and independent Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean will have a priority call on our reserves.

DFID is providing expertise to the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and national disaster offices in our partner countries. DFID also supported establishment of a multinational response coordination centre within CDEMA. In the longer term, the UK is investing over £360m in disaster resilient infrastructure across the Caribbean.

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