Education, child protection and disaster risk management partners learning together from 2017 devastating hurricanes

Partners at the Caribbean Safe School Initiative – Learning Together workshop. Photo Cred: UNICEF


Edited By: UNDRR – The Americas

BARBADOS, May 22, 2018 - Aimed at taking stock, documenting and sharing lessons learned in the implementation of the education sector emergency response, officials from the education, child protection and disaster management sectors from 14 Caribbean countries joined development partners in Barbados this week at the Caribbean Safe School Initiative (CSS)   – Learning Together workshop. This workshop explored future disaster risk reduction and preparedness action and investment in education and child protection systems.

The forum, which falls under the Caribbean Safe School Initiative, also comes against the backdrop of the impact of last year's powerful Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, which caused widespread damage in several Caribbean countries. Education and Child Protection services and infrastructures were significantly damaged or destroyed during these major meteorological events.

The workshop took place a year after the first Caribbean Safe School Ministerial Forum which was hosted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Antigua and Barbuda on April 2017. The first CSS Ministerial Forum, which was made possible thanks to the financial support by the Austrian Development Agency, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Korea, aimed to promote and raise public awareness on the three pillars of School Safety of the Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) Framework, which guides the Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools (WISS).

Caribbean Safe School Initiative  – Learning Together workshop provided a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and south-south learning and information on broader regional practices. National action plans were developed and agreed by each country. UNDRR facilitated the analysis of the Caribbean road map for school safety in order to recommend updates based on the lessons learned in preparation for the Second Ministerial Safe School Forum to be held in 2019.

Representatives from the Caribbean countries discussed mechanisms for providing psychosocial support to children and frontline workers as well as the children on the move protocols, considering the events in 2017 where a great number of children left impacted countries to travel to Caribbean neighbors, an issue which still remains of great concern.

Countries participating were Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Marten and Suriname.

A broad range of partners was involved in the far-reaching exercise, including the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, European Commission - Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department, Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector, IsraAID, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDRR Office for Disaster Risk Reduction along with Ministries of Education, Social Development and Disaster Management Offices.


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Caribbean Safe School Initiative





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