CSO, NGO reps discuss input to review disaster management act

Fiji Council of Social Services executive director Vani Catanasiga. Picture: FT FILE

SOME 45 civil society representatives are meeting today in Suva to discuss their input into the review of the National Disaster Management Act.

Those attending include representatives from national non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, community-based organisations, district councils of social services and youth groups.

This meeting is organised by the Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS) and the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP), and is an opportunity for the civil society representatives to share and compare experiences on disaster management and humanitarian responses.

“This CSO review meeting will provide a space for CSOs and CBOs to discuss strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in current disaster management interventions and humanitarian responses and more importantly, to collate all of these for a CSO input into the current review of the National Disaster Management Act,” said FCOSS executive director, Vani Catanasiga.

She acknowledged the support of AHP saying this collaboration would help local NGOs and CBOs to strategise for improved CSO coordination of disaster management and humanitarian responses at sub-national and national level.

“AHP’s support, in particular Childfund Australia and Plan International, is key and demonstrates that partnerships between local actors and development partners for communities’ resilience and the development of coherent systems for disaster response is possible and can be achieved,” Ms Catanasiga said.

“We are fortunate that the Ministry of Rural Development’s multi agency review team has been in touch and will await the results of our deliberations so it can be considered as they make changes to the Act.”

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