The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at the protection of children during disasters.

The signing took place during the Sub-Regional Consultation for the Development of the Protocol for Integrated Protection of Children and Adolescents in Disaster Situations at UN House today.

Executive Director of CDEMA, Ronald Jackson, said the MOU demonstrated a formalization of a partnership built on mutual trust.  He added that it also allowed for the broadening of the umbrella to collaborate and embrace all 19 CDEMA member states.

“CDEMA delivers on this through our regional CDM (Comprehensive Disaster Management) Strategy 2014 to 2024, which emphasizes the importance of supporting vulnerable groups, including children, and our Resilience Pillars, specifically social protection for the poor and most vulnerable and readiness for response and recovery,” Mr. Jackson said.

He was supported in this view by Senior Regional Coordinator of the Caribbean Coordination Office of the Regional Director of the UNICEF Office for Latin America, the Caribbean and Panama, Herve Ludovic De Lys.

Mr. De Lys said the signing of the MOU also heralded a new era of strengthened collaboration between the two institutions.

“Through this agreement, UNICEF and CDEMA further their cooperation to reduce the disproportionate impact of climate disasters on vulnerable children by leveraging the capacity of governments and regional organizations to promote climate-resilience and responsive water, protection, sanitation, education, psychosocial, social protection and hygiene services,” he said.