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The UWI readies support for The Bahamas post Hurricane Dorian

For Release Upon Receipt - Thursday, September 5, 2019

UWI readies support for The Bahamas post Hurricane Dorian

Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Monday, September 3, 2019 Even as the catastrophic category 5 Hurricane Dorianpummelsthe north west and central islands of the Bahamas, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is readying its tactical support for that country.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles expressed, on behalf of The UWI, his deep sadness and concern for the people of The Bahamas and reiterated the University’s commitment to regional colleagues and partners. Vice-Chancellor Beckles advised that The UWI Disaster Risk Reduction Centre (DRRC), established in 2005, will again work closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to advise on and support the needs of the country as necessary.

"The extreme vulnerability of our region is now finally globally recognized as an existential threat caused by Climate change and global warming. Once again we have witnessed this truth in the extensive destruction and tragic deaths caused by the growing intensity of hurricanes. As we mourn the human loss in our Bahamas family and lament their massive property destruction, the University urges policy framers to fast track the application of science in building out the region's future resilience," said Vice-Chancellor Beckles.

Mr. Jeremy Collymore, Resilience Consultant/Advisor in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, acknowledged the immediate need for emergency assistance. He noted that UWI’s recently endorsed Operations Plan for interfacing with the Regional Response Mechanism will inform its internal coordination and external support to the impacted state. UWI engineering experts are available to participate in the Rapid Needs Assessment Team; a team of pyscho-social professionals is also on standby.

“The University of the West Indies”, Collymore added, “is committed to championing the proposition of a Resilient Caribbean State and, while sharing its services, will further identify lessons to inform our teaching and research towards this end.”

UWI research conducted in Climate Studies, Environmental and Coastal Zone Management, Marine Ecology, and Disaster Vulnerability have and will continue to form the basis of advice and recommendations to the governments and people of the region. Combined with expertise in Engineering, Disaster Risk Management, Sociology and Social Work as well as Public Health Management, this demonstrates The UWI resources available as the regional institution continues to offer short, medium, and long term responses.


About The UWI

For more than 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students across five campuses: 4 Landed: Cave Hillin Barbados; Mona in Jamaica, Five Islandsin Antigua and Barbuda, St. Augustinein Trinidad and Tobago; and an Open Campus with over 42 locations serving 17 Caribbean territories.

The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019. The UWI is the only Caribbean-based University to make these prestigious lists and is one of only two regional universities in the world (the other being the University of South Pacific).

As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

The regional university offers more than 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport.As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving sustainable economic growth and development. Visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)


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