Shock-Responsive Social Protection in the Caribbean

This report captures the proceedings and debates that unfolded during the first Regional Symposium on Shock-Responsive Social Protection in the Caribbean, convened by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Social protection is a powerful instrument to address poverty, inequality, food insecurity and other challenges. It is also increasingly playing a role in disaster management. This trend is particularly relevant in the Caribbean, one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world. The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and Hurricane Dorian in 2019 highlighted this reality with alarming consequences on people’s lives and livelihoods, economic well-being and infrastructure.

At the same time, Caribbean countries feature wide-ranging social protection programmes with varying degrees of maturity. These can potentially contribute to disaster responses and reduce the recurrent or prolonged need for humanitarian assistance by building household resilience. Cases in point are the responses mounted in British Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Dominica in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, where governments adapted and expanded national social protection programmes to assist impacted populations