AN in-depth post disaster needs assessment (PDNA) is vital to ensuring that people affected by natural disasters receive assistance and recover from the traumatic effect of such disasters.
This was the word from Commissioner western Commander Joeli Cawaki who opened a week-long PDNA workshop for government officials in the Western Division.
"Government relies on us in times of disaster to provide timely, accurate and reliable assessments for informed decision-making to ensure the people of the Western Division are able to receive assistance," Cdr Cawaki said.
"As many of you are aware, Tropical Cyclone Evan, which hit Fiji in December, 2012 was one of the worst cyclones ever experienced by our country causing damage estimated at $194.9million equivalent to 2.6 per cent of Fiji's GDP.
"These costs include about $73.4m in losses to economic flows that were expected to occur over the short to medium-term."
He said most of the damage and losses occurred in the Western Division, which bore full the brunt of the flash floods and cyclones that have hit Fiji in recent years.
Cdr Cawaki said these incidents made it important for government officials to compile PDNAs that was needed to assist affected residents.
Organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the workshop was also attended by disaster management officials from the Samoan Government.