United Nations Development Program
Disaster Risk Reduction
Trinidad and Tobago
Forest Hills Eastern
Natural disasters wreak havoc in a majority of the countries in the world every year. Annually, an average of 3,455 floods, 2,689 storms, 470 droughts, and 395 instances of extreme temperatures occur around the world. According to the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), disasters have cost the world over 2.5 trillion dollars since the turn of the 21st century. Every year, an estimated 180 billion dollars is lost from cyclones and earthquakes alone. From 2002-2014, 2.9 billion people have been affected by disasters and over 1.2 million killed. Island countries, countries that lie on fault lines, and coastal countries have been subject to the brutal effects of natural disasters. UNDRR is pivotal to address as natural disasters claim around 90,000 people yearly.
Trinidad and Tobago encourages the United Nations to increase funding for disaster risk reduction to better understand the disasters as well as help citizens migrate out of harm’s way. Since Trinidad and Tobago is an island country in the Atlantic Ocean, it is vulnerable to hurricanes. Additionally, Trinidad and Tobago lies on the fault line between the clashing Caribbean Plate and South American Plate which puts the country in risk of earthquakes and tsunamis. Trinidad and Tobago works towards decreasing disaster risk reduction through the National Earthquake Plan. This plan focuses on minimizing the loss of life and decreasing the damage to the environment and property. The plan details actions to be taken to migrate, prepare for, and respond effectively to the impacts of major earthquakes and tsunamis. Trinidad and Tobago’s legislature and The Minister of National Security, Honorable Stuart R. Young, has been working on improving upon The Disaster Measures Act, as well as the Environmental Management Act to reduce the disaster risk. Trinidad and Tobago is a part of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and has taken the leading position within this group. The head of the Caribbean Emergency Management Agency, Ronald Jackson, has worked hand in hand with CARICOM to discuss using its indeginous solutions to manage disaster risk with modern technology.
Trinidad and Tobago strongly urges the United Nations to increase funding for Disaster Risk Reduction to create an International Disaster Plan to help the citizens of every country migrate, prepare for, and respond effectively to the impacts of major disasters. Using voluntary payments to fund this initiative can allow some funding to go towards researching these disasters and understanding the dangers, risk, and damage involved with each. It is crucial to create the International Disaster Plan and to discover more about each disaster to reduce the loss of life as well as decreasing the damage. This plan will not only decrease the disaster risk but will also enforce international cooperation.
- Vishnu Mano