GWP-C and HELP Consultation: Principles for Addressing Water-Related Disaster Risk Reduction during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As climate change and variability have increased the occurrence of disasters such as hurricanes, floods and droughts in the Caribbean region, governments have begun to give greater priority to disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts. Many efforts are being made to build capacity, influence policies and develop strategies to better equip countries and their populations to become more resilient to water-related disasters.

With the emergence of COVID-19, countries worldwide have been called upon to combat the disease. Countries with poor public health and emergency response systems, as well as poor water governance, are impacted the most by the pandemic. These countries are particularly vulnerable when the “twin risks” of both health and water-related disasters hit them at the same time, which is a major concern for many Caribbean countries.

Rising to the occasion, the High-Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP) has developed a set of principles to address water-related disaster risk reduction (DRR) under COVID-19 situations. The Principles present urgent practical advice for leaders and managers with expertise in responding to DRR or COVID-19 challenges, to be better prepared for these twin risks. The Principles are made to address water-related disasters but are also applicable to other types of disasters. DRR actions with special attention to the current pandemic situation, will protect disaster-affected areas from becoming the epicenter of a pandemic explosion and will enable them to more swiftly recover from disasters.

Given the importance of addressing this issue, the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) and Global Water Partnership (GWP)are partnering with HELP to conduct an online ground-truthing consultation, connecting several countries within the Caribbean, with a focus to gain practical insights on how such principles can be implemented in the field. This event is co-organised by HELP and the GWP and is supported by the Government of Japan and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).

The purpose of the online consultation is to discuss and gain insights on how to practically implement key suggestions proposed in the HELP Principles to Address Water-Related Disaster Risk Reduction under the Covid-19 Pandemic. The event also aims to encourage exchanges among decision-makers, experts and practitioners in the Caribbean region, on how to be better prepared for co-occurring disasters on water and health.

The Keynote Speaker

The keynote address at the GWP-C and HELP Consultation will be given by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali: President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Register for the Event

The online Consultation takes place on February 9th, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time (AST). Register to attend here.

Access and download the Consultation Agenda here.

If you have any questions related to the Consultation, please contact the GWP-C Secretariat at