Businesses taught to be resilient to natural disasters

THE Business Continuity Planning — Train the Trainers workshop held at the Takia Hotel in Labasa yesterday is expected to make businesses resilient to natural disasters.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Pacific regional co-ordinator Brett Jones said the training was part of the USAID project aimed at strengthening the environmental and disaster resilience of Pacific Island nations.

Ms Jones said natural disasters had a major impact on Fiji’s businesses and the economy as a whole.

“According to the Fiji Government’s post-disaster assessments, Tropical Cyclone Winston caused $1.99 billion in damage and losses,” she said.

“Through this two-day training, 20 participants will learn about business continuity planning, the role of first responders and how climate variability affects businesses.

“They will also learn about government services and disaster management plans.

“These measures not only help businesses better prepare for disasters, but also position them to effectively contribute to recovery efforts.”

Ms Jones said after the training program, which would also be implemented in Suva later this month, participants would be certified to mentor other businesses and private sector organisations across the country.

“USAID’s five-year Ready project strengthens the capacity of governments and institutions to develop and implement effective environmental and disaster mitigation policies and strategies,” she said.

“The skills covered in this training will be critical for small and medium enterprises to disaster-proof their businesses against future disasters.

“Evidence worldwide suggests that by having a business continuity plan, businesses are more likely to adapt, survive and thrive when disaster strikes.”

Ms Jones said the same workshop would be rolled out in 15 locations throughout Fiji soon.

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