The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Devastating natural disasters show the need for resilient, sustainable and inclusive infrastructure
The eruption of the La Soufrière volcano after lying dormant for 40 years has plunged the Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines into unimaginable levels of devastation and suffering.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes. Schools and businesses have been closed. Entire villages are covered in grey ash, where once there was only lush Caribbean green. Clouds of ash have reached even neighbouring islands such as Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada and Saint Lucia.
Normally, a story like this would have touched the hearts of many as images of a towering and smoking La Soufrière were beamed and printed across the world. But with the COVID-19 pandemic still saturating news reports, this is but another tragedy upon an already devastating situation.
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Mr. O'Regan has worked with the UN and other international organizations since 1994. He began his career with the UN by supporting the UN Verification Mission in Angola. He then moved to UN Mine Action as Chief of Administration. In 2004, he joined the UNOPS Mine Action Unit in New York as a Portfolio Manager, where he oversaw programmes in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Lebanon and Sudan. He was appointed UNOPS Country Representative in Kenya in 2006, and later became the Director of UNOPS Office in Jerusalem in 2011. In 2015, he was appointed Head of the Project Management and Infrastructure Centre of Excellence, retaining his role as Director in Jerusalem. Mr. O'Regan was appointed director of UNOPS Infrastructure and Project Management Group in 2017.