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Disaster risk system

Charlene Lanyon
Thursday, October 20, 2016

FIJI is in need of a stronger national disaster risk management system that addresses all components and not just disaster response, says Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management permanent secretary Meleti Bainimarama.

While opening Pacific Resilience Week in Suva yesterday, Mr Bainimarama said this was an issue of national importance after the experience of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston earlier this year.

"If systems are strong and resilient, the people will be strong and resilient," Mr Bainimarama said. "As a Pacific Island nation, Fiji's vision is to be not only resilient, but also self-reliant.

"By being inclusive from the central government and ministries in Suva through to divisional and district headquarters and down to villages and settlements throughout Fiji, all these different levels of communities will be resilient."

Mr Bainimarama said building meaningful partnerships and collaboration with relevant stakeholders would achieve the nation's vision of being self-reliant.

"A vision this bold will require technical expertise, financial support and other assistance from local, national, regional and international partners. For each partnership and collaboration, Fiji will provide the leadership and co-ordination required of a sovereign nation to fulfil its mandate to its people, international obligations and aspirations it has accepted," he said.

Mr Bainimarama added that Fiji was just one of the many Pacific Island countries with specific aspirations and needs for disaster risk management.

"If the Pacific nations are strong and resilient, the region will be strong and resilient."

The 10-day event will feature more than 500 participants from around the region.

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