Prioritizing community needs after disasters

Nov 24, 2017

Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia – Community and government representatives from all four states of the Federated States of Micronesia, recently gathered to discuss how to prioritize community recovery issues following a disaster. 

The island country faces a range of disaster threats including typhoons, droughts and storm surges, and the two-day workshop aimed to strengthen the community and government’s understanding of disaster recovery and better prepare for recovery should the worst happen. 

Assistant Secretary for Emergency Management at the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM), Ms Elina Paul said, “FSM has focused a lot in the past on response to disasters. Now is the time to focus on how to prepare for recovery. People are still recovering in some areas from Typhoon Maysak. The workshop gave us some ideas on how to better plan for recovery”.

With support from OEEM, the workshop was part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Disaster Resilience in Pacific Small Island Developing States (RESPAC) Project. 

RESPAC Manager at the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Noud Leenders said, “Overall, RESPAC aims to help Pacific Small Island Developing States improve their resilience to climate-related hazards. And for this workshop in FSM, the project was here to help the community and state governments increase disaster preparedness and planning to manage disaster recovery.” 

“The workshop identified ways to ensure that the recovery needs and priorities of communities are incorporated into planning processes after a disaster. We are looking to increase information sharing in recovery and to promote community participation throughout the recovery phase.”

Recommendations from the workshop were submitted in a report to the Government of FSM as a way forward. The workshop took place on the 21 - 22 November 2017.

The RESPAC Project with the support of the Russian Federation works with 15 Pacific Island countries and territories to improve their resilience to climate related hazards. The project focuses on strengthening early warning systems and climate monitoring abilities, preparedness, planning and tools to manage disaster recovery processes strengthened at regional, national and local levels, while increasing the use of financial instruments to manage and share disaster-related risk and support post disaster recovery efforts. 

Contact information

Elina Paul, FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management, email: epaul.oeem@gmail.com
Setaita Tavanabola, UNDP Communications Associate, email: setaita.tavanabola@undp.org

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