BRIDGETOIWN, Barbados, CMC – The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Monday, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). This will allow for cooperation on the development of more resilient communities, states and regional actors in preparation for disasters or emergencies in the region.The main purpose of the accord is to tackle the challenges facing vulnerable groups and affected populations, especially children, with a focus on the education sector, child and social protection systems and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), as a pathway to resilience building.UNICEF and CEDMA say they will prioritize national responses in case of emergencies, ensuring support for children, youth, women and vulnerable groups. In this process, innovative data collection instruments will be used to improve the tools implemented for risk analysis.A statement issued following the signing said that climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction within regional and national education sector policies, plans and curricula, beginning at early childhood through secondary level will be applied through existing coordination platforms, strategies and programs. “Based on post Irma and Maria hurricanes emergency response, in 2018 UNICEF Eastern Caribbean (ECA) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding for prepositioning supplies with CDEMA and a new Programme Cooperation Agreement in 2019. CDEMA has the mandate, given by CARICOM (Caribbean Community), to mobilise and coordinate disaster relief in emergency situations in the Caribbean, and to adopt mitigation policies and practices at National and Regional Levels. “CDEMA coordinates the emergency operations system, and responds to emergency situations and humanitarian crisis in 18 participating states of the Caribbean.