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Agriculture officials gather to discuss sustainable agriculture for the region

Seventy agriculture officials from across Latin America and the Caribbean will gather for two days from 14 – 15 September 2017, to discuss how the region can strengthen sustainable agriculture and rural development through innovation, at the 11th Regional Planners Forum on Agriculture. This meeting will be hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat at the Hilton Hotel, Barbados under the theme:  Innovation Systems for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.


A key expected outcome of the meeting is an action plan framework that countries can use to develop and implement leading edge policies and institutional mechanisms at the national level to advance their agricultural sectors and reduce poverty in rural areas.

The forum will focus on:

  • Financial Instruments,Investments and Institutional Strengthening;
  • Climate Smart Agriculture; and
  • Value Chains and Access to Inclusive Markets

Recommendations from the meeting will be presented at the Council on Trade and Economic Development (COTED) Ministerial meeting, to be held next month in Guyana.

Innovations in agri-food systems have allowed the agricultural sector in developing and developed countries to make leaps in the quantity and quality of food production.  The process is designed for farmers, marketers and agro-processors along the value chain to improve their production practices, with the involvement of the private and public sectors, civil society and developmental partners.

Higher levels of adoption of innovations in agriculture lead to improvements in productivity, competitiveness, trade, income generated by the sector, sustainability and reduction of the region’s food import bill. The forum is therefore a key activity to map the growth and expansion of the agricultural sector of CARICOM and the realization of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The forum dialogue will also focus on how policies and mechanisms can support the reduction of rural poverty as well as levels of food and nutritional insecurity in countries around the region. This complex problem requires a systematic and innovative approach especially in the context of a strong growth in food demand and climate change, with increasing pressure on natural resources. 

This year’s Forum on Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development is a follow-up to the 2016 FAO Second Regional Forum on "Innovation Systems for Sustainable Rural Development", where stakeholders discussed, reflected on and analyzed innovation based on its impact in rural areas, with an emphasis on family farming and the democratization of innovation systems.

This year’s event was developed through a collaboration between the FAO and the CARICOM Secretariat with support of the members of the Agriculture Food and Nutrition Cluster (AFNC). It supports the FAO’s commitment to the implementation of the 2017 Action Plan of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Working Group on Family Farming and Territorial Rural Development and contributes to CELAC’s Food and Nutritional Security Plan for the eradication of hunger by 2025. 

To view and download the event agenda and concept note, please visit:  http://www.fao.org/americas/eventos/ver/es/c/1032286/.


 

Agriculture and food security is connected to SDGs :

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United Nations in the Caribbean joint statement on support for Irma victims

United Nations in the Caribbean

Press Release

For immediate release
Date:
 06 September, 2017
United Nations Deploying Aid and Personnel to Irma-affected Caribbean territories

Bridgetown, Barbados – September 6, 2017: The United Nations System is deploying staff and assistance to meet the needs of vulnerable Caribbean citizens in the path of record-breaking Hurricane Irma. Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have unique economic, environmental and social vulnerabilities that are exacerbated in severe natural crises.

“Hurricane Irma is an unprecedented threat to the Caribbean. The United Nations is working closely with the CDEMA-led Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) and the affected countries to bring assistance to those most in need.  We are saddened by the reports of lives lost, and of people made homeless by this storm,” stressed Mr. Stephen O’Malley, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS.

Early indications are that there has been signficant damage to infrastructure in Sint Maarten, Anguilla, and Barbuda, while information from other islands is still coming in.

Rapid Needs Assessment and Technical Experts

Technical experts drawn from across the Caribbean, regional offices, and the various agency headquarters are deploying to support CDEMA and the affected countries as needed. These include water and sanitation and hygiene experts, engineers, medical doctors, logistics management, nutrition, waste water and child protection and social protection experts. Emergency funding will also be drawn down to respond the needs of those directly affected.

Agency Contributions

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has deployed a four-person UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team comprised of first responders to augment Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) capacity with coordination, needs assessment and information management expertise. UNDAC partners from the International Humanitarian Partnership and MapAction will provide support with logistics, communications and mapping.

UN Women Multi-Country office – Caribbean is partnering with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to provide dignity kits which contain basic health and hygiene products for displaced women and girls, such as soap, underwear, bras and sanitary napkins. UN Women is also able to provide technical and financial support on economic initiatives to get women and their families back on their feet and to address safety and security concerns.

In addition to the Dignity/Hygiene Kits, as requested, UNFPA can support in providing life-saving reproductive health commodities through emergency Reproductive Health Kits. UNFPA would be able also to offer technical guidance on the prevention of Gender-Based Violence and sexual violence in affected communities.

UNDP has activated its crisis preparedness plans and will support countries both during the immediate response to this disaster and in crucial early recovery activities like debris management, emergency employment and supporting core government functions, if asked.

UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office is still working with governments of impacted countries, other United Nations agencies, partner organisations and the regional emergency response mechanism to offer the required assistance and support, but has already pre-positioned emergency supplies in Antigua to be rapidly distributed to the most affected islands. UNICEF’s priority is ensuring the safety and security of children, especially those who are most disadvantaged.

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) is deploying surge capacity with expertise in water, sanitation, hygiene, health and disaster assessment to support Ministries of Health and enable delivery of essential health services.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Subregional Office for the Caribbean will work with governments of affected states to assess impact on fisheries and agriculture and pave the way for recovery of livelihoods and adequate food and nutrition.

The emergency and disaster response is coordinated by the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management System. Under this umbrella system, the United Nations, donor agencies in the Caribbean including, USAID/OFDA, ECHO, DFID, Global Affairs Canada and others are coordinating their aid in light of the impact of Hurricane Irma and in readiness for the approaching Tropical Storm Jose.

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Sharon Carter-Burke
Communications Analyst
UN Women Multi Country Office - Caribbean
UN House, Marine Gardens
Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +1 246 467 6000 Ext 6124

Fax:+1 246 437 6596

UN Secretary-General -Statement on Hurricane Irma

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

on Hurricane Irma




7 September 2017. The Secretary-General is saddened by the reports of immense destruction and loss of life in the Caribbean region since Hurricane Irma made landfall on Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday.  He extends his condolences to the Governments and people of all the island countries and territories in the region impacted by Hurricane Irma. 


The Secretary-General expresses the United Nations’ solidarity and commends the leadership of the respective Governments for their preparedness and response to the needs of the affected communities. The United Nations system is already working to support national relief efforts.  

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 7 September 2017


 

Does drone technology hold a promise for the UN?

Drone technology appears to be taking off at the United Nations, with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) being used for various purposes, including in humanitarian, development and peacekeeping operations.

Although this technology is not a magic solution, “the promise of drones is really tremendous,” said Christopher Fabian, principal advisor on innovation at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in an interview with UN News.

For UNICEF and other humanitarian and development agencies, he said, drone technology can make a big difference in three ways. First, drones can leapfrog over broken infrastructure in places where developed transportation networks or roads do not exist, carrying low-weight supplies.  Second, UAVs can be used for remote sensing, such as gathering imagery and data, in the wake of natural disasters like mudslides, to locate where the damage is and where the affected peoples are. Third, drones can extend WiFi connectivity, from the sky to the ground, providing refugee camps or schools with access to the Internet.

As big as a Boeing 737 passenger jet and as small as a hummingbird, a huge variety of drones exist. According to research firm Gartner, total drone unit sales climbed to 2.2 million worldwide in 2016, and revenue surged 36 per cent to $4.5 billion.

Although UNICEF’s use of drones has been limited, the agency is exploring ways to scale up the use of UAVs in its operations, Mr. Fabian said.

In late June, Malawi, in partnership with UNICEF, launched Africa’s first air corridor to test the humanitarian use of drones in Kasungu District.

To extend the use of drones, UNICEF and the World Food Programmes (WFP) have formed a working group. In addition, UNICEF, together with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), chairs the UN Innovation Network, an informal forum that meets quarterly to share lessons learned and advance discussions on innovation across agencies.

Drones are also used in other parts of the UN system. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its partners have introduced a new quadcopter drone to visually map gamma radiation at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was damaged by the devastating 2011 tsunami.

Last year, an IAEA-supported drone won fourth place in the 2016 United Arab Emirates Drones for Good Award competition, which received over 1,000 entries from more than 160 countries.

[ read the full story ]

Hurricanes in the Caribbean

  • 06 September 2017 |
  • Published in Notices
  • Read the latest situation reports about humanitarian assistance being provided to the countries affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria at the website of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
  • What is a Hurricane?

    When a storm's (tropical cyclone) maximum sustained winds reach 119 kilometers per hour (74 mph), it is called a hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating, or category, based on a hurricane's maximum sustained winds. The higher the category, the greater the hurricane's potential for property damage.  Hurricanes originate in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, the eastern North Pacific Ocean, and, less frequently, the central North Pacific Ocean. A six-year rotating list of names, updated and maintained by the World Meteorological Organization, is used to identify these storms.

    (source: NOAA - Hurricane Centre) 


     

    For more information on Hurricanes and preparedness in the Caribbean go to the CDEMA website

    How you can help?

    website donation button

    Donate:

    You can make a donation to one of the country based internatoinal funds managed by the UN Foundation. The UN Reliefweb also provides information on how to donate to specific appeals by the UN following some disaster or emergency. Most times money donations help to get urgent relief items to an area faster, because it helps to buy appropriate medication, food and shelter supplies from the closest or fastest and safest or most trustworthy supplier.

    Be careful of fraud. Double check the source of information before donating. If you have doubts visit the OCHA website or contact a UN office for more information.

    Donations in kind, are also welcome. They will usually be organised by local or internatoinal NGOs or government agencies who work with OCHA to provide supply relief items. It usually takes some time before this process happens. Port facilities and services need to be functioning to make this type of aid successful. 

    Take Action:

    - Find Local or regional NGOs supporting the humanitarian assistance to areas in need: ( check back here to see an active list for Irma)

    - Contact local UN offices to find out more about volunteering or go to the UN Volunteers website

    The UN will post appeals for assistance as soon as an assessment is conducted on the impacted islands/states and based on needs.

     

     


  •  

  • Read the latest situation reports about humanitarian assistance being provided to the countries affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria at the website of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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    How does the UN provide assistance to emergencies, disasters or hazards?

     ochaicon

    Office for the Coordinaton of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)  is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort. 

    OCHA's mission is to:

    • Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies.
    • Advocate the rights of people in need.
    • Promote preparedness and prevention.
    • Facilitate sustainable solutions.

    The humanitarian programme cycle (HPC) is a coordinated series of actions undertaken to help prepare for, manage and deliver humanitarian response. It consists of five elements coordinated in a seamless manner, with one step logically building on the previous and leading to the next.

    Core HPC Elements are:

    Needs assessment and analysis
    Strategic response planning
    Resource mobilization
    Implementation and monitoring
    Operational review and evaluation

    Learn more about OCHA and how it coordinates humanitarian assistance

    OCHA 25th aniversary logo

     

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Contact

Email: unic.portofspain@unic.org 

Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 

Address: 

2nd Floor Bretton Hall, 16 Victoria Avenue, 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

 

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