The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit has officially deployed Superintendent Sylvan McIntyre of Grenada to assist authorities in St Vincent and the Grenadines with the effusive eruption at the La Soufriere Volcano.
Commencing 1 March 2021, Superintendent McIntyre will spend 6 weeks supporting the national disaster office with the ongoing volcano crisis under the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM).
Superintendent McIntyre looks forward to a successful intervention as he represents the Caricom Operational Support Team (COST) of CDEMA through his wealth of expertise. He said, “I feel first and foremost humbled to be recognised as one of the persons in the region to be responding to a sister country that is in need. Secondly, it gives me a sense of regional collaboration support that Grenada was able to see to the request of St Vincent.”
“I feel confident that I will be of support to St Vincent. I am concerned but not scared of the environment, I am aware of the issues having worked on the frontlines since March 2020. Therefore…I will keep myself safe.”
CDEMA Acting Executive Director Elizabeth Riley remarked, “This deployment is an example of regional and international collaboration at its finest. Through the COST we are able to source the technical expertise required to respond to and mitigate against the many natural hazards that threaten our region. We are grateful to the Government of Grenada for facilitating this request and for Superintendent McIntyre’s willingness to apply his experience and skill set on the ground in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Funding for the deployment of Superintendent McIntyre was available through the Caribbean Climate Resilience Initiative, launched in August 2020 with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This initiative sees US$4.5 million being used to help countries reduce disaster and recover from hazard impacts and climate variability.
Riley added, “We also thank our international partner, USAID, whose contribution makes it significantly easier to apply our home-grown expertise throughout the Caribbean region.”
USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean’s Regional Representative, Clinton White, said, “I am delighted that the US Government through USAID is able to support this important assignment to the Government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The American people and USAID respond in the Caribbean’s time of need. We are helping the region to respond to emergencies and build resilience to climate variability and natural disasters. Together, we can strengthen resilience to disasters and make communities more vibrant.”
Superintendent McIntyre has been a pillar within the RRM, having been a part of CDEMA’s response to events such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Irma of 2017 in the British Virgin Islands and Hurricane Dorian of 2019 in The Bahamas. His tasks under this deployment include reviewing evacuation plans and relief management, assisting the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) with a Volcanic Hazard table-top exercise and examining the interface of the National Emergency Operations Centre to support the Covid-19 response and multi-hazard complexities.