Ms. Patlian Johnson, Recovery and Development Cooperation Specialist in the Premier’s Office, has shared the lessons learned in hurricane recovery by the British Virgin Islands at a meeting of UN agencies and recovery partners organised by UNDP as a part of their Development Dialogues series.
Ms. Johnson made the feature presentation during a special breakout session themed ‘UNDP in the Recovery Landscape: Ensuring added value and effective partnership.’ Among other things, the Recovery and Development Cooperation Specialist highlighted the economic and social impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the British Virgin Islands since September 2017 and the progress made in hurricane recovery by 2020. She also outlined the support provided by recovery partners such as UNDP. She emphasized the value that UNDP has added through capacity building, direct assistance to vulnerable communities and businesses, targeted advice and feedback and strengthening of institutional functions including procurement, monitoring and evaluation.
In addition, Ms. Johnson highlighted the importance of strengthening collaboration between post-disaster societies and recovery partners, deeper support from external agencies, stronger networks between countries, improved coordination between recovery partners, closer collaboration between the public sector and private sector, non-profit organisations and Civil Society, and faster response times by all partners involved in disaster response and recovery efforts. She also mentioned the areas of ongoing collaboration including recovery planning and coordination, resource mobilization and programme design and implementation.
Commenting on her presentation and exchange with recovery partners, Ms. Johnson said,
“This dialogue was very important as the UN and recovery partners refine their approach ahead of the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season and in anticipation of further support as the impacts of the COVID
-19 crisis continues. I was very pleased to share the experience of the British Virgin Islands in hurricane recovery and hope that those who participated drew from the lessons learned after Irma and Maria. We all stand to gain from continuing to examine how disaster response and long-term recovery can be improved.”
The overall theme of the Development Dialogue was, ‘Shifting the Paradigm Towards People Centered and Resilient Recovery,” which took place virtually on 31st March 2021.