Minister proposes Islander with UN experience for JOA

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International Development Minister Carolyn Labey has lodged a proposition with the States in which she proposes the appointment of Therese Morel as a non-States commissioner for the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission.

Ms Morel, who was born and educated locally, has recently returned to the Island following a 35-year career in aid and development.

The report accompanying the proposition says of her career: ‘Occupying increasingly senior roles in the field and at HQ, Therese has comprehensive knowledge of the humanitarian system, both at the policy and operational levels, and extensive experience working on complex multi-sectoral operations in conflict and humanitarian settings. Her managerial and leadership skills were demonstrated at country representative and director levels, and involved managing culturally-diverse teams of up to 300 staff, overseeing budgets of over US$20 million, and overseeing the provision and management of grants to international and local implementing partners.’

It adds: ‘Her proven skills in strategy and policy formulation, change management, emergency response, inter-agency co-ordination, grant-making and capacity-building will be a huge asset to Jersey Overseas Aid, which itself is undergoing a root-and-branch reform in the way it operates. Ms Morel, who has only recently returned to the Island, will assist JOA commissioners and the Minister for International Development in creating a modern, professional and effective donor agency of which Jersey can be proud.’

She will replace Peter Le Seelleur, whose appointment is due to come to an end in March after 12 years with the organisation.

The other commissioners are Deputy Labey, Deputy Judy Martin and Trinity Constable Philip Le Sueur as States representatives, and Douglas Melville and Alistair Calvert as non-States commissioners.

Ms Morel’s appointment is due to be debated by the States on 29 January.

It is due to be a busy start to 2019 for the commission, which is in the process of reviewing the 30 applications it has received for support in the next two years.

Deputy Labey said the commission would be focusing on three key areas: dairy, financial inclusion and livelihoods and environment.

‘We want to focus on these because then we can become experts in each field,’ she said.

And she added that the number of projects they would be able to support would depend on how much money they required and the length of time the support would be needed for.

It was recently announced that the commission’s two-year dairy project in Rwanda would be extended into Malawi owing to its success.

Meanwhile, Deputy Labey said that the commission had not yet received any requests from its agencies for aid following the Indonesian tsunami at the weekend.

The eruption on Saturday evening caused part of the island in the Sunda Strait to collapse into the sea, generating tsunami waves of more than two metres which left at least 430 people dead. Heavy rains and high seas have hampered the search effort. Some bodies were found at sea and at least 159 people are missing.

Indonesian authorities have now more than doubled the exclusion zone around the Anak Krakatoa volcano to a three-mile radius.

The government has warned Sunda Strait communities to stay a kilometre away from the coastline because of the risk of another tsunami.

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