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MOU signed for review

Vishaal Kumar
Thursday, March 08, 2018

A MEMORANDUM of understanding (MOU) to review Fiji's disaster risk management legislation was signed in Suva yesterday.

The National Disaster Management Office and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), including the Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) signed the MOU to review Fiji's National Disaster Management Plan 1995 and Natural Disaster Management Act 1998.

Ministry of Disaster Management permanent secretary Meleti Bainimarama said it was important to have a legislation that clearly laid out the structure and responsibilities of Government, key responders and humanitarian partners in both periods of peacetime and disasters.

"While our current 20-year-old legislative framework has been a good basis for Government's current disaster management, the increasing intensities of disasters and extreme weather events caused by climate change force us to ensure the relevance of our disaster management laws and policies to this new reality," Mr Bainimarama said.

He said the review would contemplate new emerging issues not considered before like climate change, gender, disability and the cluster disaster co-ordination arrangement.

IFRC head of country cluster support team in the Pacific Kathryn Clarkson said updating legislation to strengthen Government-led response and resilient development was both important and timely.

"We commend the Fiji Government on the timing of this work and also for looking to FRCS and IFRC for support," Ms Clarkson said.

"Over the past 10 years, we have provided similar support to a number of Pacific governments and we look forward to working with both the government and the FRCS in their efforts to create more resilient communities in Fiji."

The review is expected to be a 10-month process resulting in a proposed revised National Disaster Management Plan and a parliamentary Bill on amendments to the Natural Disaster Management Act.

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