Drones gifted by the United States will help the Eastern Caribbean predict and respond to climate variability and natural disasters

On March 17, 2021 the United States, through the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID), provided five drones to the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and
Hydrology (CIMH) to strengthen the region’s capability to predict and respond to climate
variability and natural disasters. The CIMH will allocate the drones, worth US$130,000, for
use as needed in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis,
Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Presently, the CIMH has allocated use of
one of the drones by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and
another by Dominica. One of the drones has already been deployed to support the region’s
disaster response to the recent La Soufrière volcanic activity in St. Vincent and the
Grenadines. The drone there provided invaluable information to disaster management
authorities to include impacts on the atmosphere.
During a ceremony today at the CIMH headquarters in St. James, the CIMH’s Principal, Dr.
David Farrell expressed appreciation of the United States’ continued support to disaster and
climate resilience in the region. Speaking with Dr. Farrell, U.S. Ambassador Linda
Taglialatela stated, “I want to congratulate you on the continued partnership with CDEMA
and various organizations in the region. It ensures that limited resources, such as the drones,
are shared and placed at the disposal of countries in critical times of need. This approach
complements our support to CDEMA where we are strengthening their operational response
systems as part of our focus to build resilience in the Eastern Caribbean.” She continued,
“The strong relationships that you have built with entities such as the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Center in Florida, as well as multiple
Universities in the United States support the quality and relevance of your work. This work
mutually benefits our citizens and economies through forecasting of weather patterns and
climate related events, and that ultimately makes the region safer for all.”
Regional Representative, USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Clinton White stated,
“The American people and USAID are also there in the Caribbean’s time of need. We are
helping the region respond to emergencies, including hurricanes, fight COVID-19 and build
resilience to climate variability and natural disasters. The United States and the Caribbean
are a community with many shared values and interests- what affects one inevitably affects

all of us. Together, we can strengthen resilience to disasters, make communities more vibrant
and expand economic opportunities in the Caribbean. We are neighbors, partners, and
friends.”
The drones are part of the US$1,800,000 “Strengthening Disaster and Climate Resilience
Program” (SDCR) by USAID in partnership with the CIMH .

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