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The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency is a regional intergovernmental agency that is responsible for disaster management within the Caribbean region. The organization was set up in 1991 through an agreement of the conference of heads of government CARICOM and currently has sixteen participating states (CDEMA, 2010). In 2009 CDERA was renamed to Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA, 2010).

The current organizational structure of CDEMA is different from the structure of CDERA. CDERA was restructured to CDEMA in order to eliminate the perceived limited mandate of the organization; address human resource deficits; strengthen governance and broaden the role played by stakeholders (Collymore, 2008).

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The council is made up of the heads of government of the participating states or their appointed nominees and help in formulating the policies of CDEMA (CDEMA 2009) .

Management Committee of Council

The MCC is charged with the duty of coordinating the activities of the council at the sub-regions. The MCC is chaired by the Executive director. The role of the MCC is to strengthen the Council at sub-regions (CDEMA, 2009).

Finance and administration committee

This branch is charged with the duty of managing and accounting of all the funds handled by the organization (CDEMA, 2009). The role of this organ is to increase accountability and transparency on issues related to CDEMA finances.

Information and communication technology advisory committee

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This committee is responsible for coordinating communication channels within the organization (CDEMA, 2009). The committee ensures that information technology in the organization is well maintained throughout the year.

Technical Advisory Committee

This is the advisory arm of CDEMA; this organ is fundamental in fostering an integrated approach to Disaster Management and organizes the stake-holders contribution in performing certain roles (CDEMA, 2009). The TAC is made up of the National Disaster Coordinators and the representatives of specialized regional organizations such as those involve in seismological, technological and meteorological fields (CDEMA, 2010). The programs of these organizations are crucial in the regional Disaster Management Agenda.

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The coordinating Unit

The council appoints an executive director who heads the coordinating Unit. The operating functions of the coordinating unit are centers around four programming areas which are

Sources of funding

CDEMA is an organization that deals with multiple emergencies and has limited resources and capacity (William, 2006). However the organization has many stakeholders who have been instrumental in the provision of funds and other services. CDEMA has formed strategic partner alliances and has empowered the sector partners to lead in the dissemination of services (William, 2006). CDEMA receives the member's annual assessed contribution from its partners (William, 2006). The organization also receives funds and technical assistance mainly from the International Funding Agencies (IFAs) (William, 2006).

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Types of services offered

CDEMA provides immediate and organized response through provision of immediate disaster relief to participating states experiencing disasters (CDEMA, 2009). CDEMA also coordinates and provides information to non-governmental and Inter-governmental organizations that are interested in providing disaster relief to affected participating states (CDEMA, 2009). CDEMA also encourages and lobbies for the adoption of policies and practices that mitigate the occurrence and effects of disasters (CDEM, 2009). This in turn is expected to lead to the development of a culture which reduces losses resulting from disasters.

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