A Student Initiative

The Caribbean is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to natural disasters.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding and volcanic activity have resulted in loss of life, injury and billions of dollars in damage to property and infrastructure.  The Caribbean has experienced over 250 natural disasters, mainly storms, over the past four decades, killing over 12,000 and affecting over 12 million more people. The economic consequences have been severe, amounting to an estimated US$19.7 billion (Acevedo Mejia, 2014). Natural disasters therefore compound existing challenges such as high debt and stymie the socio – economic progress of the Caribbean region. Climate change threatens to exacerbate the Caribbean’s vulnerability to storms, hurricanes and flooding.  These issues are of great interest to the Institute of International Relations and relate to the work the IIR engages in, on Caribbean development, climate change and human insecurity


After Tropical Storm Erika hit Dominica on August 27, 2015, our students and staff, immediately embarked on a drive to raise money for Dominica but before we were finished, Tropical Storm Joaquin hit the Bahamas.  These developments inspired Kieran Khan, one of our students, at a student meeting, to propose a permanent fund at the IIR for contributing to disaster relief efforts in the Caribbean. The student body immediately bought into the idea. After much discussion and consultation among the students, there was consensus to call the Fund, The Caribbean Treasure Trust: Emergency Relief Fund (CTTERF). Although there are similar initiatives in the region, the CTTERF is unique, in that it is a permanent student - led initiative.

The objectives of the CTTERF are to: complement the disaster relief efforts of the wider university and regional institutions; further develop the social conscience of our students as they prepare to be regional and global leaders; bring immediate relief to people who desperately need assistance in the aftermath of a disaster; and expose our students to CARICOM diplomacy in a concrete way.

A formal committee, consisting of a group of committed and dedicated students, is now in place to coordinate the work of the CTTERF. The committee is chaired by Post Graduate Diploma student, Nirmala Bridgelalsingh.

The current project of the Caribbean Treasure Trust: Emergency Relief Fund is a fund raising drive with a target of TT$ 500,000.00 for Dominica in collaboration with Krioul and The UWI St. Augustine's Guild of Students


Persons may contribute by donating cakes for our weekly cake sales. This takes place every Thursday, 1 pm – 4 pm at the Student Activities Centre; making a contribution on our donation sheets (IIR students and the IIR Secretariat); and donating by cheque, payable to the Institute of International Relations: Caribbean Treasure Trust. 

For further information:

Contact us at 662 2002 ext. 83235

Or email:


Activities of the Caribbean Treasure Trust: Emergency Relief Fund

bake sale                                  the goal