Including Migrants in Disaster Risk Management in Dominica


Location: Roseau, Dominica

IOM Dominica, in collaboration with its national partners, rolled out a workshop and training of trainers on “Including Migrants in Disaster Risk Management”. The activities targeted a group of over 20 participants, including government stakeholders, migrant representatives and IOM staff from Dominica, Jamaica and The Bahamas.

One of the lessons learnt from Hurricane Maria was that disaster prevention, preparedness and response activities in Dominica must account not only for the local population, but also for foreign residents, workers, students and visitors. Overlooking these groups in planning, response and recovery activities can lead to a “disaster within a disaster” – compounding situations of vulnerability that hamper the resilience and recovery of the whole community and society.

Throughout the 5-day training, participants were provided with the knowledge and tools to facilitate engagement and preparedness of migrants and their communities, set up coordination mechanisms with key institutions, issue and disseminate more inclusive emergency communications, and adapt assistance to address needs in a more culturally-appropriate manner. The training also included practical activities to start implementing measures to improve the inclusion of migrants in disaster risk management systems, such as through the adaptation of communications and risk awareness materials, the development of contact directories of relevant service providers (including interpreters, embassies and consulates, community based groups and associations), and the establishment of referral mechanisms for the provision of specific assistance.

These activities represent the first step in the establishment of a comprehensive capacity building programme on this topic in Dominica and in the Caribbean. Throughout 2020, IOM Dominica will be supporting cascading activities at national level and in selected communities, with the objective to further support the Government of Dominica, through the National Emergency Planning Organization, Office of Disaster Management (ODM), with inclusive disaster risk management work. The activities, generously supported by the US Bureau for Population, Refugee and Migration, also contribute to IOM’s global commitment to implementing the Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Affected by Conflict or Natural Disaster.