Photo : Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for the Caribbean, Claudia Giraldo and Director-General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules ink the agreement.
By Anara Khan
DPI, Guyana, Friday, June 7, 2019
In an effort to improve emergency response ahead of the 2019 hurricane season, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, on Wednesday, signed an agreement with Facebook Caribbean. The agreement will allow access by the OECS to Facebook’s Disaster Maps.
Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for the Caribbean, Claudia Giraldo and Director-General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules ink the agreement.
According to a press release from the commission, at the signing ceremony held in honour of the partnership, Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for the Caribbean, Claudia Giraldo said that in moments of crisis, people come to use the social media platform to connect with friends and loved ones.
“The anonymised information about their location can help relief organisations concentrate their efforts where they are most needed,” Giraldo explained.
She emphasised that lending support to communities to help recover and rebuild after a disaster is core to Facebook’s mission.
“We are aware of the challenges that many Caribbean nations face during disasters and we are very pleased to be able to support the OECS Commission with our Disaster Maps… we hope this is the first step towards broadened collaboration.”
Director-General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules remarked that “as we continue to strengthen our resilience to the effects of climate change and natural disasters, we are cognisant of the advantages of a predictive approach… access to Facebook’s Disaster Maps will allow us to monitor the almost real-time movement of persons and therefore be better positioned to provide assistance.”
He expressed that the commission looks forward to the continued partnership with Facebook on this significant initiative.
The release explained that Facebook’s Disaster Maps are dynamic mapping resources with information about where populations are located, how they are moving, and where they are ‘checking in safe’ during a natural disaster. Using this application, relief agencies will be able to more effectively respond to the needs of affected communities with appropriate services and supplies.