Payment solutions a priority for CDEMA
With this hurricane season beginning yesterday, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) still has several outstanding concerns.
During the regional agency’s annual press conference yesterday, CDEMA executive director Ronald Jackson said he still had concerns over outstanding payments and audit reports from member states.
Jackson noted the need for CDEMA member states to pay up, but said there were more discussions on finding a solution to the payment problems.
“I’d say that we’re not yet where we need to be in terms of the faithfulness of member states,” Jackson said.
“We have been in dialogue with them based on the call, and based on the involvement and engagement with the CARICOM secretariat and our heads of government, there is now a greater engagement on trying to find solutions for the way forward.”
Last year, CDEMA’s chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Dr Winston Garraway pleaded with member states to pay their dues as they may not be able to adequately respond when called upon.
Jackson, who was also at that meeting, explained that CDEMA’s current operating cost, minus the financing of their regional response mechanism, was around US $2.5 to $3 million a year.
He also noted it cost at least US$1 million a year to operate the regional response mechanism.
Jackson also took the opportunity yesterday to call for member states to send in their audit reports from last year’s active hurricane season as only five of the 18 states had sent in theirs.
He explained these audit reports would allow CDEMA to carry out their mandates.
“I’m very concerned, and it is certainly something that my internal team continues to liaise with them on. I am liaising at the level of the governments,” Jackson said.
“Recently we advised several of the ministers with responsibility for disaster management, but also security, at a meeting we were at that this is outstanding, and encouraged the ministers to ensure it [audit] was being done,” he continued, adding there were also discussions at a technical level. (AD)