Moderator: Kate Milliken, Climate Change Adviser, UN World Food Programme

Organization: World Food Programme (WFP) & World Bank

Time: 14:00-15:15


Climate shocks disproportionately impact the poor and push non-poor households into poverty. In the Caribbean, where at least one Caribbean country is expected to be hit by a major hurricane each year, the importance of ensuring that appropriate systems are in place to mitigate these household-level impacts cannot be understated. There are emerging and interesting experiences in the Caribbean on using social protection information systems, quantifying household vulnerability and risk, and expanding risk financing options to the poor. At the same time, there
remains several challenges which continue to constrain effective household-level response and financing in the region.

This session will bring together technical experts from governments and international organizations to discuss how disaster preparedness and response at the household level could be better supported by ex-ante vulnerability analysis; efficient ex-post household impact assessments; social information systems, and established financing mechanisms to ensure households are responded to quickly.


Kathryn Millikenis a climate change adviser for the World Food Programme, where she currently supports two portfolios. She leads WFP’s corporate capacity development efforts on climate change, including around normative guidance and trainings, and enhancing technical expertise on climate and food security interventions. In Latin America and the Caribbean, she coordinates the design and implementation of climate innovations across the countries in which WFP works, including risk finance mechanisms (such as insurance and forecast-based financing), climate information services, adaptive social protection, energy solutions, among others. In her capacity, Milliken brings 15 years of international development experience, including having worked in China, the Philippines, North Korea, Italy and Panama; she has also provided short-term emergency and technical support in countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Milliken has a Bachelor of Arts/Science degree at the Australian National University in anthropology, geography, psychology and political science, plus a Master in Public Health from James Cook University, and a Master in Environmental Change and Management at Oxford University.

Pierre Ricot Odneyis the Director of the Planning Unit, Ministère des Affaires Sociales et du Travail (MAST). In 1998 he became a project manager at the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (Ministère de l’Education Nationale et de la Formation Professionnelle – MENFP), which allowed him, a few years later, to start teaching while providing technical assistance to the Ministry. Thanks to his hard work and dedication, from 2006 to 2009, he was a prominent and influential figure within the Ministry of Home Affairs Cabinet, before joining the MAST’s Cabinet in 2011, and later on, the Deputy Director of the Planning Unit, which is recognized as the institutional gateway for all social protection related programs in Haiti. Since he became Director of the Planning Unit, in 2013, Odney is considered a central figure of the MAST and a front-line player for social protection programs in Haiti. Odney has a Bachelor of Economics at the State University of Haiti (UEH, Université d’Etat d’Haiti) and later specialized in Social Protection and Project Management. He has been teaching Economics at the UEH for fifteen years. Well known for his contributions to the Social Protection inter-institutional Committee, Pierre Ricot Odney, has been relentlessly advocating for an improved and comprehensive social protection system in Haiti.

Jacqueline Shepherd is the current Manager for Disaster, Rehabilitation and Welfare Management at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Jamaica. She has been employed at the Ministry for almost 30 years. Within her current position Shepherd executes the mandate of the Ministry through the operations of 13 parish offices, coordinating with other relevant governmental and non-governmental agencies, including the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM). Some of her key responsibilities include managing and procuring relief supplies for the Ministry’s Warehouse; securing suitable shelters for victims of disasters; relief supply distribution, management and monitoring; recommending levels of assistance for victims of disaster; supervising the Post Damage Assessment process; representing the Ministry on the Humanitarian Assistance Committee (HAC), formulating strategies for identifying and collecting data for victims of disasters; and providing relevant agencies such as the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), ODPEM and Ministry of Finance with data for effective policy decisions. Shepherd is the recipient of the Jamaica Civil Service award in 2016 for 26 years of service in the Public Service. A social worker by profession, her exemplary career spans both public and private sectors and is buttressed by principles of service above self, moral and social responsibilities and Christian conduct towards mankind.

Thibaut Humbert is a disaster risk financing consultant with the World Bank. He started consulting in disaster risk financing for the World Bank Group in 2016. With a dual specialization in applied mathematics and financial engineering, Humbert has conducted quantification and analysis of fiscal risk assessment in Belize, Grenada, Jamaica and Belize, and later in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and in Central America. Based on risk quantification and applying actuarial and financial techniques, he has devised cost-efficient sovereign disaster risk financial protection strategies to increase ex-ante financial preparedness for emergency in the wake of rapid onset disasters. In addition, Humbert provided technical assistance in Haiti, to draw lessons on public financial management of disaster risk based on post-hurricane Matthew experience. Building from his experience in Latin America and the Caribbean, Humbert recently started working on West Africa in parallel, particularly in Mauritania, to support the development of an adaptive component of the social protection system in order to mitigate droughts’ impact on food security.

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