Australia-Fiji strengthen military led disaster response

Participants of the Pacific Civil-Military Disaster Response Coordination Workshop. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

A WORKSHOP intended to strengthen intra-regional capacity to support nation-led responses to disasters in the Pacific was opened today by the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management, and Meteorological Services, Inia Seruiratu.

Co-hosted by Australia and Fiji, the Pacific Civil-Military Disaster Response Coordination Workshop, will examine how civil military cooperation in these responses could be strengthened.

Mr Seruiratu said that as a region, Pacific countries desire to have a civil military taskforce that is able to prepare for and respond to national emergency events domestically and across borders.

“Good civil military coordination provides the much needed guidance for forward planning, prepositioning of emergency stores along with the deployment of key assets and personnel.”

“Understanding civil military coordination during a disaster event is vital because both elements have their own strengths and merits. In some cases they complement each other well especially during disaster recovery operations” Mr Seruiratu said.

The workshop which ends on May 23, 2018 has participants from the National Disaster Management Office and Police/Military representatives from Cook Islands, Fiji, Tahiti, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Marshal Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

Topics covered in the three day workshop will include:

  • Government strengths and areas for further consideration
  • Disaster response needs and expectations
  • The role of the humanitarian sector in international responses
  • The role of regional for a in regional response
  • Options for preparedness and response
  • Enhancing regional response frameworks

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