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DDME Ministerial Handover From MIBS To NSS

The National Security Secretariat, Permanent Secretary Tito Lightbourne, receives the DDME Ministerial Brief Report from the Ministry of Immigration and Boarder Services, Deputy Permanent Secretary Emilio Seymour (3rd from left), and Welcomes DDME Director, Mrs Allison Gordon and Team (2nd from Left).

On Thursday, January 19, 2023, as part of implementing the Ministerial Portfolio reassignments, the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services conducted a Ministerial Handover Meeting with The National Security Secretariat to officially Handover the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME).

Ministry of Immigration and Border Services, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr. Emilio Seymour​, directly responsible for the DDME, chaired the handover meeting with National Security Secretariat (NSS), Permanent Secretary, Mr. Tito Lightbourne​, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Dr Virginia Clerveaux, Mrs. Allison Gordon, Director of DDME and other DDME staff members in attendance.

Reflecting on his experience overseeing the DDME, DPS Seymour stated that he now has a greater appreciation for Disaster Risk Management on a National level and the vast scope of work the Department aims to achieve.

Following lessons learnt from the national response to Hurricane Fiona, DPS Seymour pledged to continue advocating for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in TCI by encouraging every department under the Ministry’s portfolio to allocate a dedicated budget line to invest in mitigation and preparedness to support emergency and disaster operations.

(Left to Right) DDME, Hazards Mitigation Manager (Ag.) Kevern De Bellott, NSS, PS Tito Lightbourne, DDME Director Allison Gordon, MIBS DPS Emilio Seymour, DDME PIMM Joanna Wilson-Forbes, DDME Training Officer Patrina Pollard-Harris

Permanent Secretary Lightbourne welcomed the team to the NSS and shared his expectation for the Department. This Department realignment will provide a more significant opportunity for NSS to support DDME as the lead institution designed to build and facilitate resilience throughout the Government to protect our Turks and Caicos Islands.

In addition, the NSS will support the DDME in the coordination and strategic realization of risk reduction objectives on a national level. He stated, "NSS’s mission is to support DDME's priorities for action and ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation.

“Together we will help facilitate the mission of strengthening existing resources and established practices for more effective disaster risk reduction.”

Mrs. Gordon, Director of DDME, ended her presentation with many thanks to the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services for their support and guidance to DDME.

She also stated, "the DDME is off to a great start with our new parent, The National Security Secretariat. We look forward to a very productive and rewarding tenure as we foster new partnerships and investments in Disaster Risks Reduction to build a resilient future for these Turks and Caicos Islands."

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