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The impact of hurricane Ivan in the Cayman Islands

Publication cover
Corporate author:
  • Cayman Islands. Government
  • PNUD
  • NU. CEPAL. Subsede de México
UN symbol.: LC/CAR/L.25/REV.1 86 p. : il., gráfs., tabls. Editorial: ECLAC December 2004

Description

Introduction and Summary
The advent of Hurricane Ivan and its tragic and devastating consequences in the Cayman Islands
and particularly in the Grand Cayman puts a strain on the economy and fiscal pressures on
Government.
The consequences of Ivan pose the need beyond the humanitarian response, for a rapid
assessment of the damage (impact on assets); and losses (effects on economic and social flows); to
determine its macroeconomic, social and environmental consequences and its implications for the
country's fiscal stance. At the request of the Cayman Islands Government and with the support
of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); such assessment was undertaken by an
ECLAC-led mission in accordance to its well-established and accepted disaster evaluation
methodology. (ECLAC, 2004, www.eclac.cl/mexico);.
This assessment will complement and expand on the emergency and humanitarian needs
identified previously by the government and particularly by the Economics and Statistics Office.
The result of such an assessment provides a quantitative approximation to the overall damage and
reconstruction costs of the event and looks into the effect on the country's macroeconomic
performance as compared to the pre-hurricane targets. The final section of the report outlines
some strategic considerations and priorities for projects and actions required, for which additional
resources will be needed. The findings of the report suggest areas of attention for incremented
emphasis in the content of the country's economic programmme, and the need to mobilize both
international cooperation resources and private sector investment.
It is quite evident, even before an assessment is made, that additional needs and stronger
emphasis should be put on the cross-cutting theme of disaster and risk management, in the face of
the country's crystallized exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards. This year's events testify
to a dramatically increased vulnerability not only in the jurisdiction of the Caymans but in the
Caribbean basin as a whole, affecting island nations and territories as well as continental states in
Mexico and the United States.
This approach transcends the Cayman Islands, leading to the need to consider a regional
Caribbean strategy.

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