The UNDRR, along with USAID, through ARISE (their private sector alliance for disaster-resilient societies), has released an assessment of the telecommunication sector's role in disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean in light of COVID-19. The current pandemic has increased the importance of telecommunications exponentially through is assistance in aiding the region's public health agenda, business connectivity through e-commerce and the provision of online services — with local companies offering a plethora of special relief services to households and MSMEs. The Sendai Framework recommends including disaster management policies in existing business models, and given the growing significance of the telecommunications industry in the Caribbean, strategic partnerships for the continuation of these services stand to facilitate greater synergy for resilient societies. During the 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean, 50% of the 71 mobile network operators in the region were directly impacted by the hurricanes, with some operators experiencing over 95% damage to their infrastructure. Public-private support will be instrumental in ensuring the survival and growth of telecommunications infrastructure, which has been threatened by the economic environment resulting from COVID-19 — for industry success and disaster risk reduction (DRR).

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