LESSONS learnt from the Fiji floods, Tropical Cyclone Wilma that hit Vanuatu in March and drought in Tuvalu and Tokelau last year were the highlights of discussions at the fifth Annual Pacific Humanitarian Team Regional Workshop in Nadi yesterday.
More than 100 humanitarian actors from the Pacific Island region discussed how a possible weak El Nino phenomenon and tropical cyclones would affect different Pacific Island countries in the coming months.
Organised and facilitated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the discussions also centred around what course of action could be taken to prepare for the onset of natural disasters.
"Participants will work to develop concrete actions for how different sectors such as health, nutrition, shelter and education can respond to a range of different emergencies including earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, volcanic eruptions and tropical cyclones all of which have affected the Pacific Islands region over the last five years," said UNOCHA in a statement.
Peter Muller, regional disaster response advisor for UNOCHA in the Pacific said the forum provided a good opportunity to discuss issues and formulate effective strategies to respond in a more effective manner.
"The Pacific Humanitarian Team has responded to over 17 natural disasters in the last five years. We work in one of the world's most susceptible regions to natural disaster and we have already heard today that the collaborative nature of the Pacific Humanitarian Team has led to stronger responses in a number of countries.
"This meeting gives us the opportunity to come together as a humanitarian community and build capacity to respond stronger than before."
The Pacific Humanitarian Team is a unique collaborative partnership between all major humanitarian actors in the Pacific Island region.