November 6, 2020
CARRIACOU – On Friday, November 6, U.S. Principal Officer to Grenada Karl Duckworth joined Minister of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs Hon. Kindra Maturine-Stewart, Minister of State with responsibility for Disaster Management Winston Garraway, and Permanent Secretaries Rholda Quamina and Rhonda Jones to commission a new emergency operations centre and warehouse in Carriacou. This centre will serve as an important site for the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA), which coordinates Grenada’s emergency planning, training, response, and recovery efforts for natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Project is providing US$2.7 million for the construction of this centre, and US$3.9 million for a new NaDMA headquarters in Morne Jaloux on the mainland. Both projects will be completed by March 2021.
“The U.S. Embassies in Bridgetown and Grenada have a long history of cooperation with the Government and people of Grenada,” Duckworth said to dozens in the audience during the sod-turning ceremony. “We look forward to continuing this work and supporting the resilience of the people of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique to storms, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.”
Minister Maturine-Stewart expressed gratitude for the upgrade to Grenada’s emergency preparedness. “My government fully understands the serious nature and the far-reaching implications of emergencies, disasters and environmental crises and the importance of accurate and timely information,” she noted. “Therefore, this invaluable gift from the Government and people of the United States of America is one which we would upkeep and be forever grateful.”
Minister Garraway stressed the immediate local economic benefit of the project. “This Emergency Operations Centre and warehouse…is an injection of over EC$7 million into the economy, providing several construction jobs for the people of Carriacou in this COVID-19 pandemic times,” he pointed out.
The U.S. government previously funded the construction of two smaller emergency operations centres in both mainland Grenada and Petite Martinique. This most recent investment strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Resilience Partnership, a collaborative effort launched in 2019 to build regional disaster response capacity and support strong Caribbean communities.