The Cayman Islands Government is urging non-governmental organisations (NGOs), churches, service and civic clubs to further support the vulnerable by registering with the national disaster response mechanism to harmonise current humanitarian relief arrangements.
Officials from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) say that by signing up to the NGO COVID-19 initiative, charities will help to strengthen the impact of services they provide, and avoid duplicating efforts during the pandemic and hurricane season.
Under the provisions of the CI National Hazard Management Plan, the Cayman Islands Red Cross (CIRC) is the Chair of the Voluntary Agency Responders (VARS) Emergency Support Team. This support team forms part of the NEOC and is activated to coordinate humanitarian aid efforts during disasters says Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) Director Danielle Coleman.
To facilitate this process churches, civic clubs and charities are being asked to fill out the online registration from at https://forms.gle/nQ8vAtikjE7Ztf176. Once this is completed, the organisation will appear in the initiative’s knowledge bank.
As well as documenting which NGOs are providing services, the knowledge bank will identify what type/s and levels of support each provides. The sign up process will help the NEOC identify any gaps in getting support and assistance to those most in need.
NGO COVID-19 is a significant part of what is intended to be a nationwide need-based deployment- referrals-and-oversight network.
Talking about the timing of the launch, Ms Coleman says: “We’re seeing incredible examples around Cayman of generosity, compassion and a desire to help those who are less fortunate with food distribution, offers of accommodation and financial assistance. Caymankind at its finest.”
“However, in order to ensure these efforts are coordinated, we are asking all agencies from service and civic clubs to soup kitchens to register with CIRC, in their capacity under the NEOC as team leaders with the Voluntary Agency Responders Emergency Support Team. We know that such collaboration will go a long way to ensure that our humanitarian response is strategic and effective.”