On Monday, October 19, U.S. Ambassador to Grenada Linda Taglialatela joined Minister of Finance Gregory Bowen, Minister of State with responsibility for Disaster Management Winston Garraway, and Permanent Secretary Rhonda Jones to commission a new emergency operations centre and warehouse in Morne Jaloux. This centre will serve as the headquarters 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$3.9 million for the construction of this centre and US$2.7 million for a similar project in Carriacou. Both projects are expected to be completed by March 2021.
“Normally, I would have the privilege of digging the first shovel full of dirt to mark the beginning of construction, but clearly it is well underway!” the Ambassador told the audience at an outdoor ceremony which included Morne Jaloux constituents. “The COVID-19 pandemic may have delayed my travel here, but I am extremely pleased to see the progress of this facility thus far, and I look forward to returning to Grenada in March to officially hand over the Emergency Operations Center and Disaster Relief Warehouse to the National Disaster Management Agency.”
Minister Bowen expressed his gratitude for the upgrade to Grenada’s emergency preparedness. “What we have here will give us the opportunity for men and women to remain in this facility and man our recovery after a disaster,” he said. “Everything will be located in this facility.” Minister Garraway continued, “This is a dream we’ve had for a very long time.” He called the project “a gift to the people of Grenada and Carriacou – demonstrating the true friendship between the U.S. government and Grenada.” Garraway added that the centre will reinforce collaboration between national, regional, and global partners, which will integrate Grenada into an “international network of preparedness.”
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.