Ministerial Round Table

Time: 15:35-16:50

Summary: When they occur, extreme weather events and other disasters place a huge burden on public finances in the Caribbean. Damages from hurricanes can exceed 200 percent of GDP, overwhelming public finances and exposing liabilities: in Dominica in 2017, about 90 per cent of the housing stock in the island was damaged or destroyed. Disasters also disrupt the continuity of government functions and public services. In Sint Maarten, the main Government building was shut down for a week as nearby debris from hurricane Irma caught fire.

Financial preparedness is a critical part of overall disaster preparedness. Ministries of Finance play a fundamental role in ensuring efficient flows of funds post-disaster but are often not actively involved in disaster planning. Vulnerable countries are starting to invest smarter and earlier in understanding their liabilities when disaster strikes, in insuring those assets that are too critical to fail, and in setting up mechanisms ahead of time that can keep government functioning and get assistance to those who need it quickly. This session will bring a series of high-level fiscal policy makers, regulators, and budget holders to talk about their role in disaster risk management, and the challenges that they encounter along the way.

Keynote Speaker:

Ms Leona Marlin-Romeo, Prime Minister, Sint Maarten


  • Mr Winston Garraway, Minister of State, Grenada (TBC)
  • Ms Rosamund Edwards, Finance Secretary, Dominica
  • Ms Alma Gomez, Insurance Supervisor, Belize
  • Mr Colin Owen, Finance Secretary, Monserrat
  • Barbados Government (TBC)


Prime Minister, the Honorable Leona Romeo-Marlin

Leona Médita Romeo-Marlin, is currently the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, a position she has held since January 15th 2018. As Prime Minister Mrs. Romeo Marlin holds the responsibility for the Ministry of General Affairs, where she promotes the cooperation between the partners within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, French St. Martin, Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories and CARICOM.

Since her appointment as Prime Minister, Ms. Romeo Marlin has been charged with the responsibility to steer the reconstruction and redevelopment of Sint Maarten following the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Government of Sint Maarten has created the National Recovery and Resilience Plan that will serve as the roadmap to success.