World Central Kitchen (WCK) commits to lead the development of a 21 Day Plan for disaster response in the Caribbean. Relying on the expertise of key stakeholders in disaster response, the 21 Day Plan will provide a critical framework to be utilized by nonprofit organizations, private sector companies, and government bodies throughout the region responding in the crucial three-week period after a disaster strikes when needs are acutely high and systems are overwhelmed. In order to develop the plan, WCK will convene experts in the field, conduct asset mapping and risk assessments, facilitate preparedness drills to test the plan, and ultimately publish a toolkit based on what was learned and how to implement around it.
WCK will bring together experts in the field of preparedness and response to serve as an advisory panel, meeting each quarter at a central location to develop the plan. First, WCK will reach out to local and international nonprofit organizations, particularly those with expertise in water, shelter, and health. Next, WCK will forge and strengthen partnerships with governments throughout the Caribbean to facilitate research and garner support. Lastly, WCK will engage businesses and other key stakeholders throughout the region.
In order to identify the availability of resources, as well as key vulnerabilities, the next phase will include asset mapping and risk assessments in 3 Caribbean geographies to be identified.
The first draft of the 21 Day Plan will be completed by August 2020 and will then undergo a testing phase. WCK and the advisory panel will conduct a disaster preparedness drill to include at least 50 people. The test will mimic a real disaster scenario and focus on the provision of food, water, shelter, and medical supplies. The plan will be refined based on the outcome of the drill and then finalized and published
Q1 2020: Initial outreach and collection of best practices from partner organizations, with particular focus on experts in water, shelter, and health. Additional outreach to governmental bodies and businesses. Identify 3 islands in which to conduct asset mapping and risk assessments. First quarterly convening of advisory group.
Q2 2020: Development of draft Plan and further refinement with additional input. Conduct asset mapping and risk assessments in 3 islands. Second quarterly convening of advisory group.
Q3 2020: Draft of 21 Day Plan complete. Conduct preparedness drill in one identified country. Third quarterly convening of advisory group.
Q4 2020: Refine and edit 21 Day Plan. Fourth quarterly convening of advisory group. Publish 21 Day Plan.
The first 21 days after a disaster are critical for emergency relief. People need food, water, shelter, and medicine. It is during this time that emergency operations efforts are established and relief organizations arrive on the scene, and an attempt to stabilize the situation takes place before longer-term recovery can begin.
However, current coordination efforts have proven slow and ineffective, leaving affected populations without support for days or even longer. Governments are often too overwhelmed to properly coordinate offers of relief that flood in, allocate available pre-existing resources, and ensure those most in need have access to food and water. Emergency relief efforts find themselves competing for resources with recovery efforts due to lack of established priorities. Moreover, knowledgeable local organizations and individuals are often left out of the process entirely.
In short, without a clearly defined collaborative plan for these first 21 days, people are going hungry and lacking vital resources. It’s time for a new approach that centers around urgency, one that begins before the disaster hits and engages the non-profit, public and private sectors alike. It is crucial that the international community ensures that food, water and other critical services are available on day 0, governments are allocating resources appropriately, and international relief actors are coordinating efforts and sharing data to maximize impact.
Input from disaster response organizations, introductions to appropriate government entities in the Caribbean, commitments of pre-positioned resources.
Financial resources for the development of the 21 Day Plan, sharing of best practice information, leveraging platform to build awareness.