 Continued from Page 1 However, Montserratians are a demonstrably resilient people. There has been a determined effort to rebuild the island. They have literally and figuratively dusted themselves off from the ash. Their efforts to date are worthy of recognition and commendation. It has been a slow process with the island remaining dependent on budgetary support from the United Kingdom Government 25 years later for both recurrent and capital budgets. There will remain the need for a consistent programme of Recovery that covers all spheres of life for several years to come. Lessons that CARICAD Member States Can Learn from the Montserrat Experience The Caribbean region can learn many lessons from the Montserrat experience. The incorporation of these lessons in national policy planning and management should prove beneficial to current and future generations. Every country/territory should be prepared for natural as well as man-made hazards and set up appropriate policies, strategies, programmes and management capabilities – especially for high impact hazards and threats such as volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and pandemics. Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) should be embraced as a fundamental development strategy. Small island economies are especially vulnerable to natural disasters. A series of devastating hazard impacts can occur in a short time. Montserrat experienced storms hurricanes and drought along with the volcanic eruption in 1995. The British Virgin Islands and Dominica experienced two major hurricanes in 2017. People are willing to endure great hardships and make remarkable sacrifices for the long-term good of their country but they will demand effective leadership and management from both the political directorate and the public sector. The most effective disaster responses and recovery efforts for large scale disasters require political approaches which are fundamentally equitable and altruistic. It is unlikely that any Caribbean country struck by a similar volcanic disaster could survive economically/financially without a massive and sustained aid programme. Alternatively, the debt burden could be massive and remain a fiscal overhang and drag on development for decades. Small territories with small populations cannot provide the full range of skills required to respond to and recover from that kind of disaster. Proactive preparations should be made to deal with the unquantified but very significant psychological and emotional effects of a major disaster. Mechanisms need to be put in place at national level for the management of aid and technical assistance in the event of a major disaster.  Continues on next page 17 Views from Plymouth looking towards the volcano in July 1995.

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