 Continued from previous page To accelerate economic recovery and build resilience to natural hazards, the UN Women MCO has also ensured that small grants are provided to female-headed households and marginalised workers whose livelihoods were impacted in the agriculture and tourism sectors through the Global Affairs Canada and UK DFID funded, and UNDP led ‘EnGenDER Project’. While non-perishables are critical for food security during an active hurricane season, it is also important that fresh food remains available. In balancing budgets impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, households may be forced to purchase and consume less fresh fruits and vegetables. Often farmers, especially small holder farmers, experience significant wastage and loss of crops during the post-hurricane phase. In the Commonwealth of Dominica, the UN Women MCO supported the creation of a platform for four women farmer groups to advertise their weekly supply of fresh produce, receive direct orders from customers and enabled them to adhere to COVID-19 safe handling guidelines, thereby contributing to the safe provision of fresh food for local communities. The challenging reality faced by many people within communities awaiting return to employment can also be used as an opportunity for them to become official volunteers and enroll in virtual training courses that are being hosted by National Disaster Offices. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and Damage and Needs Assessment (DANA) are courses that can be completed online to build community disaster response capacity. Strengthening Resilience as a Nation Within recent times, there has been a drive for active women leadership in senior level disaster risk reduction (DRR) positions across the region. In fact, while there are more women than men working in public functions on DRR in the Caribbean, women’s leadership in senior management positions continues to be underrepresented. This is of particular concern given that studies have demonstrated that women take more risk averse decisions and are for this reason the better disaster risk managers. In addition, to systematically strengthen countries’ disaster resilience and invest limited resources in the most cost-effective manner, the collection of sex, age and disability-disaggregated data is critical so as to implement a multi-hazard focused, gender-responsive prevention and preparedness plan in the face of climate change and the COVID-19 crisis. In May 2020, the CARICOM Regional Statistics Programme revealed that in at least four Caribbean countries there were more confirmed COVID-19 cases for women than men (See Figure 1). However, reports have indicated that more men have died. With increasing availability and analysis of sex-disaggregated data, more targeted support can be provided. To achieve optimal hurricane preparedness, the needs and potential of women, men, girls and boys need to be identified and leveraged. Women and men across all socio-economic parts of society should be meaningfully engaged to ensure a whole-of-society approach. Diversity of perspective and increasing women’s leadership as decision-makers, is better practice and should reap benefits in governance in state as well as private sector development. Figure 1: Confirmed cases by Sex – Selected Countries. Source: CARICOM Regional Statistics Programme – 15 May 2020  Continues on next page 7

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