Welcome Remarks of
Eren Hanley, Director
Department of Statistics & Economic Planning
On January 12 of this year, Haiti, our Caribbean neighbor was hit by an earthquake registering 7.3 on the Richter Scale. In 35 seconds, the face of
this country was transformed. Damage to infrastructure and the local economy was unprecedented, not to mention the loss of life.
At first, getting aid that was urgently needed to Haiti was a logistical nightmare. Flights arrived with humanitarian relief including, food, water and
medicine but couldn’t get to the people who desperately needed them all at once. How was it determined which flights had priority access?
Here in Nevis, just a few years ago, Hurricane Omar severely damaged our western coastline and the structure of the second largest employer on the
island. Although the destruction was nowhere near the level of destruction experienced by Haiti, decisions still had to be made on what the next
response should be. We have not yet fully recovered, yet we are already faced with the prospects/ possibility that we may be struck again. The
national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted that the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be more active than normal.
It is important that when disasters strike that we have the capacity to conduct damage and loss assessments as soon as possible to reduce the
disasters impact and to get assistance where it is needed.
Therefore, the purpose of this workshop is to build and strengthen capacity in the area of conducting economic evaluations of natural disasters.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our facilitators to Nevis and to also extend welcome to our invited guests and participants. I hope that
the workshop will be productive and that most importantly we will be able to apply and put to practice what we have learnt, it the need arises.