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Kalinago Territory to get short-term post-Maria financial assistance

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Kalinago Territory, Dominica
A section of the Kalinago Territory months after Hurricane Maria (Photo source: Dominica News Online)

The Ministry of Kalinago Affairs has designed two Financial Interventions funded by the Government to provide temporary, short-term, financial assistance to the Kalinago people affected by Hurricane Maria.

The specific focus of the intervention is on the rehabilitation of homes and support for people in the Kalinago craft industry.

An official handing over ceremony will be held on Thursday 26th April at the St. Cyr Resource Centre.

Each beneficiary’s circumstance was carefully considered based on an assessment conducted by staff of the Ministry.

The relevant sums will be deposited in the accounts of the Kalinago Council and the WAIKADA Inc. respectively.

The home rehabilitation aspect, $821,555.22 to be administered by WAIKADA, takes into consideration finance for the procurement of building materials, and the costs associated with local labour for successful completion projects.

The support for the craft industry will take the form of a monthly allowance of $500 for five month to beneficiaries who have lost livelihoods due to the loss of products, the unavailability of raw material along with the severe impact on the Tourism Sector.

This initiative is in tandem with the vision of the Ministry to improve the quality of life and opportunities for the Kalinago people by contributing to a relationship of mutual understanding, trust and respect between the Government and people of Dominica and the Kalinagos.

This story was first published on Dominica News Online.

 

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[VIDEO] UNDP – Caribbean Recovery

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Six months after two of the most powerful hurricanes recorded over the Atlantic wreaked havoc in the Caribbean, women and men are working around the clock to build back better, with another hurricane season months away. In the immediate hurricane aftermath, governments requested the UN Development Programme (UNDP)’s technical support to recover, while boosting climate resilience.

UNDP has mobilized nearly US$22 million to build back better in the Caribbean following the back-to-back hurricanes in September 2017, and in the past decade invested nearly US$300 million in disaster preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean, working with governments at the national and local levels, as well as communities.

 

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Silver Airways acquires Seaborne to create major new Caribbean airline

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Silver Airways
Photo credit: www.airlines-inform.com

There’s a new power player in Caribbean aviation.

Fort Lauderdale-based airline Silver Airways has acquired San Juan-based Caribbean regional airline Seaborne Airlines in what could be a transformative move for the region’s air sector.

Silver has closed on the acquisition of Seaborne’s business and assets, creating an airline that will serve the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

The deal brings together two regional players — Silver, which has been operating a network of flights in Florida and most of The Bahamas, and Seaborne, which has long been one of the leaders in Caribbean air travel.

For now, Silver will operate its Bahamas-Florida network under the Silver banner, while Seaborne will retain its name for Caribbean routes.

The total company fleet will now number 31 aircraft, including Saab 340 and Havilland Twin Otter seaplane aircraft. Silver is also set to deploy a new fleet of state-of-the-art ATR 600s across both networks, the company said.

Seaborne Airlines
Photo credit: www.airlines-inform.com

“I am thrilled to welcome the Seaborne team members to the Silver family as together we create one of the nation’s leading independent airlines in a transaction that will benefit our guests, team members, and the communities we serve, as well as both airlines’ valued codeshare and interline partnerships with most major U.S. carriers,” said Silver Airways CEO Steve Rossum.

“This transaction brings together two strong and historic independent airlines with amazing employees, an excellent track record of operational safety, respect for our people and our communities, and great service for our passengers.”

The merger of the two airlines’ operating functions, joint branding and streamlining of the guest experience is expected during the next year, according to the company.

Rossum will continue to serve as CEO of the combined airline, which will employ nearly 1,000 aviation professionals, headquartered at Silver’s office in Fort Lauderdale.

 

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UNDP Delivers Roofing Materials to the Dominica State College

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UNDP Dominica State College
Photo credit: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

The Dominica State College suffered damage to 6 buildings at its Stockfarm Campus. Before Hurricane Maria, this college had enrolled close to 1400 students and has had major refurbishment works done over the years.

With the initiative brought about through the partnership framework with the People’s Republic of China, the materials procured by UNDP will be used for re-roofing over 65,000 square feet of educational facilities with an incalculable social impact for the country.

UNDP Dominica State College
Photo credit: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

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[VIDEO] Jing Ping Music – Foundation to Innovation

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This documentary is an in-depth look at the origin, composition and make-up of a four-piece folk band called a Jing Ping Band. Experienced Jing Ping musicians give an account of their journey and opinions on what the future holds for this unique genre.

Contemporary musicians also discuss the influence that Jing Ping Music has had on their respective creative processes.

 

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Relief Supplies from the United States Arrive in Dominica

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USAID, Dominica
Relief Supplies from the United States Arrive in Dominica (Photo credit: Yuri A. Jones)

A United States military cargo plane carrying a shipment of relief supplies landed on the Caribbean nation of Dominica on Friday, according to the US embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of East Caribbean States.

By Nathan Davis

The shipment contained wheelchairs, bedpans, adult diapers, household supplies, building materials and school craft supplies

United States Agency for International Development Director Christopher Cushing was in Dominica when the shipment arrived.

“My colleagues and I at the U.S. Embassy are pleased to support this important shipment, which signals the United States Government’s ongoing commitment to support the Government and people of Dominica in their rebuilding efforts,” he said.

US citizens and organizations have contributed more than $6.5 million in disaster relief assistance to Dominica.

The shipment was made possible by the Denton Program which “allows private U.S. citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods to countries in need.”

Long recovery ahead

Dominica suffered a direct hit from Hurricane Maria last September. The impact of the category 5 storm was recorded through Facebook posts by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

During the storm, Skerrit described the winds as “merciless” saying that he could hear the roofs of homes flying through the air.

At one point his own roof came off and his home began to flood before he was rescued.

“Initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains,” Skerrit posted after the storm past over his country.

Because of the island’s heavy reliance on tourism, recovery from Hurricane Maria has been slow. While some tourism infrastructure has been repaired, the island is nowhere near back to normal.

“Dominica is still in recovery mode, and with no single, definitive source for information, figuring out what’s functioning — and what is not — remains a challenge. Plan on arriving with plenty of time to explore, and an abundance of patience,” according to Matt Gross for The New York Times.

This article originally appeared on El Hemisferio.

 

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$65M for Dominica’s post-Hurricane Maria reconstruction

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World Bank, Dominica
$65M for Dominica’s post-Hurricane Maria reconstruction (Photo credit: Yuri A. Jones)

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Friday approved two emergency support operations totaling US$65 million for restoring agriculture livelihoods, strengthening resilience and rebuilding houses destroyed by Hurricane Maria.

The World Bank said the figure represents the bank’s highest ever financing for Dominica and is part of a larger US$115 million package of support. that includes financing of US$65 million in concessional terms and US$50 million in grant financing from the International Development Association’s (IDA) Crisis Response Window.

The Washington-based financial institution said the IDA Crisis Response Window is designed to help IDA-eligible countries recover from severe disasters and crises.

The World Bank said as the eye of the storm wreaked havoc in Dominica last September, more than 30 people were killed, and total damages and losses were estimated at US$1.37 billion or 226 percent of the island’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The greatest damages were in housing and transport, with more than 4,500 houses destroyed and 20,000 partially damaged, and many roads and bridges affected and covered by trees and flooded debris, the World Bank said.

It said the agriculture sector had the largest losses, with 80 to 100 percent of crops destroyed.

The World Bank also said farmers lost half of their cattle, and many fishermen lost their boats and fishing gear.

“This financing enables us to make two critical investments in our economic recovery following the devastation of hurricane Maria last year. These investments in agriculture and housing also represent vital components of our plan to make Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world, said Dominica Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, in the World Bank statement.

The World Bank said the Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience project (US$25 million) will help farmers and fisherfolks to restore their agriculture and fishing production and systems, and adopt climate smart practices.

The Housing Recovery project (US$40 million) will focus on rebuilding houses and improving the application of resilient building practices, the World Bank said.

It said the total US$65 million project financing for these two projects includes the US$50 million of grant financing.

“Last year was a stark reminder that the Caribbean is a region most exposed to natural disasters,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank’s Country Director for the Caribbean. “Through these projects, we have an opportunity to contribute to Dominica’s efforts to build back better and smarter, with structures able to resist high winds, and help some of the most vulnerable including farmers and fisherfolks to cope with the shock and be better prepared for the next storm. We are committed to deepen our partnership with Dominica in support of its aspiration for becoming a climate resilient nation,”

The World Bank said about 1,700 families will receive subsidies from the housing project, adding that 4,900 farmers and fisherfolks will receive support from the agriculture project.

In the immediate aftermath, the World Bank said it mobilized a disaster risk management team to help the governments of the most affected islands, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica, to conduct rapid damage and needs assessments, in collaboration with the United Nations, the European Union, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Caribbean Development Bank.

The World Bank said the assessments were delivered in time for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) donor conference coordinated by the UN.

At the same time, the World Bank said US$7 million contingent emergency response component of an existing emergency project was immediately activated in Dominica.

In the Caribbean, the World Bank said many financial tools that it developed are being used to get quick access to finances for reconstruction.

These include emergency funds, insurance instruments, and contingency lines of credit, the World Bank said.

It said eight countries have received payouts of more than US$50 million from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, a regional risk pooling mechanism. Dominica received a payout of US$19.3 million after Hurricane Maria, the World Bank said.

Currently, the World Bank said it is supporting Caribbean countries with almost US$1 billion focused on strengthening resilience and financial protection against disasters — of which nearly half a billion dollars is focused on disaster risk management (US$430 million).

In addition, the World Bank said it is “engaged” in Haiti with more than US$935 million.

 

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Jazz ‘n Creole 2018 is On!

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2018 Dominica Jazz 'n Creole

Trinidadian String Band and Michele Henderson to headline 2018 Dominica Jazz ‘n Creole

Trinidadian string sensation Xavier Strings and Dominica’s Princess of Song Michele Henderson will headline what is being billed by organizers, as one of the best ever Dominica Jazz ‘n Creole, the 2018 edition on Sunday May 20th at the historic Cabrits National Park in Portsmouth on Dominica’s north-west coast.

Patrons of Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole can expect a real treat at this year’s main stage event in the Jazz ‘n Creole program which also features several fringe events at venues across the island and in particular, the north.

Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole has become a staple on the entertainment calendar held on Pentecost Sunday and features a family event, providing relaxing jazz music and activities for children. Patrons can therefore anticipate stirring Caribbean rhythms on violins played by the Xavier sisters as well as the melodious harmony of Michele’s voice.

Attendees are encouraged to display their patriotism by incorporating some aspect of ‘Creole’ in their outfits for Jazz ‘n Creole 2018. In doing so, a lucky individual will have the opportunity to a win ticket for this year’s World Creole Music Festival carded for October 26 – 28, 2018.

The 9th edition of Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole is proudly presented by the Government of Dominica through Ministry of Tourism and Discover Dominica Authority alongside headline sponsor Range Developments. Range Developments are developers of the Cabrits Resort Kempinski which will be opened in 2019.

 

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Hike Fest 2018 “Rediscover Dominica – The Journey to Rebirth”

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The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) in collaboration with the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, once again celebrate a month of activities to mark Tourism Awareness Month (TAM).

Hike Fest, DominicaAs part of this initiative, the DHTA is organizing its 10th Annual Hiking Festival, themed “Rediscover Dominica – The Journey to Rebirth” carded for Saturday May 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th, 2018.

 The objective of this event is to rediscover and create a greater appreciation of the wonderful attractions Dominica has to offer highlighting some of Dominica’s most iconic hiking trails led by knowledgeable certified guides.

The DHTA has scheduled the following hikes:

Date Trail
May 5 Pond Casse to Emerald Pool (Segment 5)
May 12 Freshwater Lake to Boeri Lake (Kids Day)
May 19 Syndicate Loop Trail
May 26 Segment 13

 

 
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Roxon Aviation now offering flight services to the Caribbean

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Roxon Aviation

PRESS RELEASE – OTTAWA, Canada — Roxon Aviation is now offering greater travel access to and from the Caribbean, with the announcement of new non-stop services between Miami International Airport (MIA), to the Caribbean destinations of Toussaint Louverture International Airport, Port au Prince, Haiti, (PAP), Punta Cana International Airport, (PUJ), in the Dominican Republic, and Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas (LPIA).

Propelled by a fleet of aircraft that currently includes Global Express, Embraer 145, Gulf Stream 5, Hawker 800, Citation X and Lear-jet 60, Roxon Aviation is also expanding to include scheduled flights from Miami to the Caribbean and within Caribbean destinations.

The Caribbean fleet will include Beech 1900, Navajo Chieftain, Duke, and Piper Aztec aircraft. With scheduled Caribbean flights, Roxon Aviation has turned back the clock and provides complimentary on-board meals on their Navajo Chieftain and Aztec flights.

Enjoy a taste of the islands with Caribbean fare as well as complimentary soft drinks, coffee, tea, beer, wine and water. Passengers can expect more than a bag of peanuts and half a can of soda from Roxon Aviation.

Roxon Aviation offers charter flights with customized attention to every request, and provides an unparalleled world class travel experience in the global marketplace, with the freedom and peace of mind a discerning traveller demands and deserves.

Roxon Aviation also provides Gold Card Membership – an exclusive jet membership club for the traveller who is not yet ready for the responsibilities that come with owning a private aircraft.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer this membership, as it makes charter services more affordable than ever,” said Rebecca Theodore, Roxon Aviation’s director of marketing, media and public relations.

“Membership enrolment provides the customer with on-demand, cost effective and hassle-free access to an exclusive fleet of aircrafts for all travel needs.”

Roxon Aviation invites customers to experience the unmatched comfort and luxury of having everything taken care of, to virtually anywhere they want to go, with the highest level of safety, security and privacy.

Contact: Call toll free: 1-800-363-7559
Rebecca Theodore – Director of Marketing, Media & PR
Email: rebecca@roxonaviation.com
Website: www.roxonaviation.com

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Dominica clenches Silver Medal in Men’s Triple Jump

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Dominica narrowly missed out on a historic gold medal securing a silver in the men’s triple jump at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Saturday.

Gold Coast, Australia (April 14, 2018) – Yordanys Duranona Garcia won Dominica’s second medal at the 2018 games, missing out on the gold medal by just two centimeters to Troy Doris of Guyana.

Yordanys Duranona Garcia, Dominica
Yordanys Duranona Garcia (photo credit: Zimbio)

Garcia set the bar high with a leap of 16.66 meters in his first jump with a wind of -2.3. Doris however countered with a season best of 16.68 meters on his second jump with a wind of +0.5.

Garcia then jumped 16.85 meters on his second jump, and 16.77 meters on his third attempt.

He skipped the 4th and 5th round of jumps in an attempt to gain some time to recover from a niggling ankle injury.

However Garcia couldn’t muster the strength on the final jump, and pulled up lame on his 6th and final attempt. Dominica missed out of a gold by the slimmest of margins.

Garcia spoke with the Dominica Olympic committee media team after the event. Click play below to listen.

Congratulations to Yordanys!

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Resilient Building Tips from Society for Historic Architectural Preservation and Enhancement (SHAPE)

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SHAPE tips
An example of two older buildings in Roseau and key techniques used that made them more resilient (photo credit: SHAPE)

Post Hurricane Maria there is heightened awareness of how we build Hurricane resilient buildings. We have unlearned our traditions in the way we build.

In those days [of old], our ancestors were not privileged to have satellites and advanced weather warning systems. They simply faced the monster hurricanes with no warnings. So they learnt how to minimize loss. Our traditional buildings have many elements to withstand the rigors of major hurricanes.

  1. A steep pitch roof generally 45 degree angles deflects the power of the wind.
  2. Minimum eaves deny the wind much of an area to get under the roof and provide uplift.
  3. Strong hurricane shutters that breathe and release pressure and protect openings from wind inflow and dangerous projectiles.
  4. The verandah, which is vulnerable, was built separate from the main roof.
  5. The use of wooden pegs and Mortise and tenant connections. These connections ensured that all aspects of the building are tightly fastened.

 

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Range Developments undertakes clearing of Segment 12 of Waitukubuli National Trail

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Range Developments – a local investment and hospitality company – has once again been at the forefront of efforts to revitalize areas of Dominica through its ongoing CSR program.

Over the past few months, the Range Developments team has been actively volunteering to clear debris from Segments 11 and 13 of the Waitukubuli National Trail which was devastated by the effects of Hurricane Maria and deemed unfit for use. The team is now stepping up efforts to fully undertake the clearing of another section of the trail – Segment 12.

This segment of the hiking trail is 13.5 km long and takes approximately 7 hours to complete. Categorized as a moderate to difficult hike, the trail winds through remote rural areas and gives hikers a rare glimpse of the communities that live there. Farmlands also exist in close proximity to Segment 12 and so the clearing of this part of the trail will greatly help the farmers who need access to it for their livelihoods.

Kamila Ondrackova, CSR Regional Manager of Range Developments said:

“We are proud to announce that Range Developments has undertaken further clearing of the Waitukubuli National Trail in the northern part of Dominica – namely Segment 12 which leads from Borne to Penville. Removal of fallen trees and other debris will enable the trail to re-open, making it safe again for hikers as well as easily accessible to the rural and farming communities who live alongside it.”

Segment 12 of the Waitukubuli National Trail

Unfortunately, like many other sites on the island, Segment 12 of the trail was damaged by the force of Hurricane Maria and has remained inaccessible ever since. Various types of equipment such as chainsaws and cutlasses are being used to aid in clearing the debris as well as pruning back overgrown vegetation.

Range Developments would like to encourage the local community to join them in restoring the beauty and functionality of the trail for all to enjoy. The meeting point for all volunteers who wish to get involved takes place every Sunday, 8am by the main Ross sign in Picard.

Range Developments plans to build upon their social responsibility efforts by further supporting worthwhile community projects and initiatives.

 

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NBD’S 40 Years, 40 Wins Lucky Winners Rewarded

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NBD Winners

PRESS RELEASE (April 10, 2018) – NBD rewarded its first lucky customers to win prizes under its grand anniversary giveaway promotion. Carol Jno. Charles of Belfast, Kordell Jean-Jacques of Roseau, Kish Ferrol of Paix Bouche and Johnson Thomas of Portsmouth each received gift vouchers from the Bank.

Carol Jno Charles captured the grand prize for the draw of a dinner and night for two at Sunset Bay Club.

Customers across Dominica have the opportunity to win exciting prizes from the National Bank of Dominica Ltd (NBD), as the Bank celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

The Bank unveiled its “40Years, 40 Wins Giveaway Promotion” during a press conference held last month to launch its anniversary celebration. The initiative was specifically designed to express gratitude to the Bank’s customers, and will run until
December 21, 2018.

During the promotion period, every customer who signs up for any NBD Product will get a chance to enter a draw. Draws will be conducted once a month and four lucky customers will be randomly selected and rewarded.

Mrs. Suzanne Piper, Executive Manager of Marketing at NBD, said that the promotion has been well received. “We encourage the public to open accounts, apply for the Bank’s financing facilities and sign up for our e-banking and other products to win amazing prizes. The promotion is being held at all our branches so retail customers from every part of Dominica can get a chance to win.”

Piper revealed that the Bank will undertake several activities to show appreciation to its various stakeholders throughout the anniversary year.

NBD congratulates the winners and says THANK YOU to its customers, shareholders and other stakeholders for contributing to the Bank’s success.

 

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PERSONAL PROFILE – Lowell ‘Omni’ Royer [VIDEO]

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"Art is life" - Lowell 'OMtNI' Royer | Artisanal

Lowell is a Dominican visual artist specializing in Dramatic Realism. He works with a wide range of mediums, from the canvas to wood burning to concrete and resin. Check out our interview for a glimpse into his mind. Who would you like to see on the next episode? Leave a comment below! Artisanal is a video series by Norris Francois Jr. that brings you the stories or artists in the region.

Posted by Norris Francois Jr. on Friday, April 6, 2018

Lowell is a Dominican visual artist specializing in Dramatic Realism. He works with a wide range of mediums, from the canvas to wood burning to concrete and resin.

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President Bill Clinton praises IsraAID’s work in Dominica

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Clinton Global Initiative
Former US President, Bill Clinton, in Dominica. (Photo credit: Norris Francois Jr)

Photo above: Former US President, Bill Clinton, in Dominica. (Photo credit: Norris Francois Jr)

IsraAID’s program in Dominica received a special mention from former US President Bill Clinton at yesterday’s launch of the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery.

Speaking in front of Prime Ministers, CEOs & heads of humanitarian agencies, President Clinton pointed to the amazing work our team is doing rebuilding schools and homes on the island, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

IsraAID is working in Dominica alongside partners Digicel, UNICEF Eastern Caribbean and The Beverly Foundation.

Watch the video of President Clinton giving a shoutout to IsraAID here:

 

About IsraAID

IsraAID, founded in 2001, is a NON-PROFIT, NON-GOVERNMENTAL and APOLITICAL organization committed to providing life-saving disaster relief and long term support. For over a decade, our teams of professional medics, search & rescue squads, post-trauma experts and community mobilizers, have been first on the front lines of nearly every major humanitarian response in the 21st century.

 

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Bridging humanitarian needs with long-term development in Dominica

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UNDP development in Dominica

Six months ago, on 18 September 2017, Category 5 Hurricane Maria struck Dominica wreaking unimaginable disaster.

Thirty-one people died, 33 more remain missing. Roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and over 40 percent of homes were destroyed or severely damaged. Agriculture, a major source of income for poor people on the island, suffered tremendously: almost all crops were lost. The lush green forests, pride of this country and a UNESCO World Heritage site, were reduced to a barren, eerie landscape.

Five days later, I was at the General Assembly watching Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit deliver his address. “I come to you straight from the front line of the war on climate change,” he said, still visibly shaken. “To deny climate change is to deny a truth we have just lived,” he added, appealing for international support. I was moved by his words. I remember thinking: this speech should be shown in every classroom, boardroom, parliament around the world!

Much to my surprise, the following day my boss asked me if I’d be willing to go to Dominica to head the UN Crisis Management Unit (CMU), tasked with coordinating relief and recovery efforts on the ground. I had 24 hours to respond. Prime Minister Skerrit’s words reverberated in my mind. “These are the moments for which the United Nations exists!” he had said. And so I went.

UNDP Dominica
UNDP officials with local government officials and Chinese partners inspecting a new roof construction in March 2018. Photo credit: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

The CMU configuration (UNDP-OCHA) reflected an innovative approach to crisis response, inspired by the New Way of Working agenda, which calls for humanitarian and development actors to collaborate from the outset of a relief operation to ensure that long-term recovery needs are addressed as early as possible. I was privileged to find exceptional colleagues on the ground from UN sister agencies (OCHA, WFP, IOM, UNICEF, FAO, PAHO), NGOs and regional entities. Sharing the same working space in a semi-destroyed hotel in Roseau, we forged a collaboration built on our respective strengths. We met government counterparts who admirably carried out their duties despite the situation. We drew inspiration from the determination of the Dominicans to rebuild their lives.

Shortly after my arrival, UN Secretary-General António Guterres came to visit, demonstrating the solidarity and commitment of the UN at the highest level. In the following days and weeks, thanks to generous donor support, the UN and partners distributed food, water, tarpaulins and other relief items. We set up logistics and communications facilities, assisted the authorities in reopening schools and hospitals, supported emergency employment for debris removal, and provided counselling and cash support to vulnerable people for basic needs and home repair.

The New Way of Working became a strong partnership based on a clear division of labour within the CMU. While my OCHA colleagues focused on emergency coordination, doing a phenomenal job, my UNDP team and I worked with the government to lay the groundwork for long-term recovery.

Barely a month after the hurricane, despite logistical challenges, a comprehensive Post-Disaster Needs Assessment mission was undertaken, in partnership with the World Bank and the European Union. It provided the basis for the recovery strategy presented at the UNDP-CARICOM High-Level Conference for the Caribbean in November, which yielded over US$2.5 billion in international pledges.

UNDP Dominica
Showcase of the ‘model roof’ and various roofing materials made its way across Dominica in February/March 2018. Photo credit: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

Innovation was a key component of UNDP’s response. Jointly with the Ministry of Housing, we partnered with Microsoft – who donated tablets and designed a specific application – to undertake a comprehensive damage assessment that covered over 29,000 structures islandwide, generating key data for the reconstruction plan. We also pioneered a collaboration with international NGO Engineers Without Borders to help the Ministry of Planning rewrite the Housing Guidelines to enhance structural resilience and to carry out training/certification for over 400 contractors and engineers.

Thanks to grants from China and India, we initiated programmes for resilient roofing, while the EU and the UK supported our debris removal initiative, which provided temporary employment to hundreds of hurricane-affected Dominicans. We provided advice to the government on recovery planning and the creation of a National Reconstruction Agency for Climate Resilience, based on international best practices.

These are not, strictly speaking, humanitarian activities, but in the aftermath of a crisis they are instrumental for long-term recovery. The sense of urgency of the national authorities was palpable, and we were able to respond quickly because we were there from the beginning. This is what the New Way of Working is all about.

By the end of 2017, OCHA phased out and the CMU was dissolved, its mission accomplished. We had provided humanitarian support and helped lay the foundations for long-term recovery. I departed Dominica at the end of January to return to New York, but many colleagues stayed to continue the work.

Despite considerable progress, much remains to be done to restore normalcy in the lives of Dominicans. With another hurricane season coming fast on the horizon, there is no time to spare.

About the author

Luca Renda is Senior Strategic Advisor for the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. Follow him on Twitter: @lucarenda

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President Clinton Launches CGI Action Network on Post Disaster Recovery

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Skerrit and Clinton
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton with Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Dominica, who is promoting rebuilding areas devastated by last year's hurricanes with resilient systems. Photo: Evan Garcia/UM News

Action Network will continue meeting quarterly with leaders from government, business, and civil society to continue work; Commitments to Action announced today include solarization of health clinics in Puerto Rico; mental health worker training; and resiliency investment funding in Dominica

MIAMI, FL (April 3, 2018) – Today, President Clinton formally launched the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery at the University of Miami, bringing together more than 350 leaders from government, business, and civil society to discuss and develop solutions that address immediate and long-term hurricane recovery needs facing the region.

Participants announced eight Commitments to Action – solutions that are new, specific, and measurable – focusing on a wide range of issues, including training for 5,000 mental health workers in Puerto Rico; deploying nurses to the U.S. Virgin Islands to conduct vision, hearing, and dental screenings for 9,000 schoolchildren; a comprehensive reforestation and habitat program that will plant 750,000 trees; a new agency in Dominica providing funding for resiliency projects; and solarizing 12 primary health clinics in Puerto Rico.

“In the wake of the terrible hurricanes, the people of these islands have shown a remarkable resilience and a resolve to do long-term work and build back better,” said President Clinton.

“When I went to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Dominica, I was struck by both the determination and the positive attitude of the people there. We are here to do what we can to help these people build communities that are stronger, safer, more prosperous, and more resilient.”

“If we do not address the fundamental issues contributing to climate change, we’re going to see a greater intensity of disasters like Hurricane Maria and Irma,” said Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica. “If the world continues to fail to address climate change, we must not only build back better, but we must improve the national resiliency of our islands. This meeting of the Clinton Foundation is helping to ensure that our efforts to become the first climate resilient nation in the world are system-wide, integrated and coordinated.”

“Although these back-to-back storms were a great tragedy, there is now a tremendous opportunity to improve the future of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Tom Secunda, founding partner of Bloomberg L.P. “By bringing together such a wide range of people who share the common goal of finding innovative ways to help, The Clinton Foundation is helping us ensure we build back smarter, stronger and a more sustainable communities.”

“The Rockefeller Foundation is focused on bringing together public and private partners to help Puerto Rico recover and to support those who are working to build things back better than before,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Together, we can reimagine a Puerto Rico that is more equitable, resilient to shocks and disasters, and provides opportunity for all of its residents in good times and bad.”

At the meeting, President Clinton and leaders from business, government, and civil society announced eight Commitments to Action that address a wide range of recovery and resiliency issues facing the region.

Commitments To Action Announced Today

  • The Government of Dominica has committed to launch a climate resiliency agency (CREAD), dedicating $600 million in funding to implement resiliency projects, with the goal of making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world.
  • The American Federation of Teachers has partnered with Airlink and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands to bring nurses to conduct vision, hearing, and dental screenings for all 9,000 schoolchildren on the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Afya Foundation has committed to addressing the urgent medical needs of the elder population in Puerto Rico, by shipping immediate medical supplies and equipment to Acción Social’s 22 Elder Care centers, while providing training and capacity building to Acción Social staff.
  • Para la Naturaleza (PLN) has committed to launch Habitat, a comprehensive reforestation and habitat restoration program in Puerto Rico that aims to plant 750,000 native and endemic trees that are more resilient to natural phenomena such as hurricanes, and provide assessment and maintenance of newly planted areas.
  • Americares has committed to address mental health challenges in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria by providing training for 5,000 health workers, emergency responders, and social service providers across the island.
  • International Medical Corps has committed to support primary healthcare for school-aged children in Puerto Rico by procuring an additional Mobile Medical unit for Med Centro, allowing them to reach an additional five elementary and middle schools with comprehensive preventive health screenings, and providing training and capacity building to all Med Centro staff.
  • Digicel has committed to repair or rebuild seven schools and 360 homes in Dominica that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria, while also training 100 community members in building techniques and provide community workshops on risk mitigation and disaster preparedness.
  • Direct Relief, the Hispanic Federation, The Solar Foundation, and New Energy PR have committed to install solar or solar + storage systems at 12 primary care clinics in Puerto Rico, meeting critical energy needs at each site.

Full commitment summaries are below.

President Clinton also announced a Commitment to Action in development, issuing a challenge to members of the Action Network to pre-position relief supplies for the upcoming hurricane season. With estimates that every $1 spent on preparedness saves $4 in response and recovery spending, pre-positioning relief supplies, and establishing logistics and distribution channels, can help resources be deployed more efficiently in the event of a disaster. CGI is bringing together Action Network members who can lend their resources, materials, expertise, and support to a broad effort that already includes engagement from Operation Blessing, Airlink, Federal Surplus Company, Solight, J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Americares, and World Central Kitchen.

 

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‘Paint, Smile, Create’ by Miss Teen Dominica 2017

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Paint, Smile, Create

Roseau, Dominica (March 31, 2018) – To strengthen memory and motor skills and foster creative growth, all of which improves one’s quality of life, Miss Teen Dominica 2017, Cheyenne Dewhurst used one of her passions and hosted a positive art event called, A-R-T Attack, at the La Flamboyant Hotel on Thursday March 29, 2018 under the theme “Paint, Smile, Create”, with Attainea Toulon as the Guest Instructor.

Cheyenne Dewhurst and Attainea Toulon
Miss Teen Dominica 2017, Cheyenne Dewhurst (l) and Art instructor, Attainea Toulon (r)

Ms. Dewhurst aims to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts in the future and the event was used to continue igniting that goal. With twenty (20) participants in attendance, the event was very successful because it stimulated communication, increased creativity and open-mindness whilst learning something new, and that brought out more confidence among the participants.

“I love creating things with my hands and using paint to express my uniqueness without having to use words. I already possess a range of paintings and intend to transform this passion into a career. Creating art stimulates communication between various parts of the brain and that is what we are doing here this evening.” Miss Dewhurst remarked in her welcome.

A-R-T Attack was sponsored by Perky’s Pizza, Clifftop Cleaning, A.F. Valmont & Co. Ltd and Excel Marketing Services. Ms. Ellisa James representing the Social Centre Adolescence Skills Training Programme, one of the young ladies vying for the title of Miss Teen Dominica 2018 was also in attendance. The show takes place on Saturday April 14, 2018 at the Old Mill Cultural Centre.

Miss Teen Dominica 2017
The group hard at work on their paintings

 

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Trainee Cook Needed! – Hibiscus Valley Inn

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Hibiscus Valley Inn

Hibiscus Valley Inn is looking to hire a trainee cook for their night kitchen. This person must be willing to over-night at the guest house.

For more information contact management at hibiscusvalleyinn@gmail.com or WhatsApp (473) 416-9070.

Read more about Hibiscus Valley Inn’s voluntourism package.

About Hibiscus Valley Inn

Hibiscus Valley Inn is a Swedish owned guesthouse with three ”Nature bungalows” in Dominican country style; each containing two rooms and a wonderful veranda. They are situated in a peaceful and calm area next to the beautiful Pagua river and the rain forest.

 

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