Suva, Fiji - Representatives of Pacific Island governments are part of a regional workshop this week learning how to determine the economic and social costs of disasters that can then inform recovery strategies to help rebuild the physical and social structures of disaster affected communities.
They will be provided with practical tools to conduct a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) to support national authorities in the design of a people-centered Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF).
The Regional Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and Disaster Recovery Framework Training is attended by representatives of the various sectors of government, private sector and civil society organisations which collectively contribute to community development, disaster risk reduction and recovery. An immediate follow-up activity for this is Training of Trainers in order to build up a cadre of PDNA and DRF experts from the Pacific.
Addressing the launch of the workshop today, Bakhodir Burkhanov, Country Director and Head of Pacific and Regional Programme for the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, urged participants to sustain, grow and share capacities for conducting such assessments and post-disaster planning activities in the region. He also acknowledged the support of SPC in supporting this effort of recovery planning in the Pacific and in co-organising this regional training.
“We must make sure that post-disaster recovery processes are used as opportunities to promote resilient development. Recovery and reconstruction are not just about getting back to business as usual; simply rebuilding will only replicate the conditions which make communities vulnerable to disasters in the first place. Indeed, recovery and reconstruction mean building back better. Whenever we look at any sector, be it agriculture, water, transport, telecommunications or health, we need to ensure that we do not re-create risks, and include measures to reduce exposure to future hazards.”
The regional effort is in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, European Union, World Bank, and the Pacific Community (SPC) and facilitated by the SPC Pacific Resilience Programme and Russian funded Disaster Resilience for Pacific SIDS (RESPAC) project based at the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.
“The European Union is very pleased to partner up with the UN, World Bank and SPC in organising this regional training. It will enable technical experts in Pacific countries to be ready for carrying out comprehensive post disaster needs assessments and linking them to realistic disaster recovery frameworks. Training officials and experts from the Pacific will help the countries in this region to fully own assessment and recovery processes. The aim is that all the needs are taken care of and that communities will recover quickly” said Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.
The World Bank has supported several countries in the Pacific to conduct PDNAs, working with development partners to provide coordinated support to the countries in the aftermath of a disaster.
Lasse Melgaard, World Bank Resident Representative for the South Pacific, said “We recognize the effort it takes from the government and development partners and are exploring ways to improve efficiencies and better inform the inputs into decision-making by all involved, but particularly the government. Being able to quantify the damages and losses opens up dialogues that would not happen without this information. It also provides government the opportunity to plan for not just the disaster they have just suffered but also improve the response for future.”
Fiji is host of the regional training and the government can testify to the benefits in mobilizing external resources for TC Evans and TC Winston by using the PDNA tool.
Meleti Bainimarama, Permanent Secretary for Rural & Maritime Development, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services said, “Through the TC Winston PDNA report the Fijian Government was able to mobilize 50 million US dollars through the Asian Development Bank as emergency assistance loan. This financing support was primarily to assist with the reconstruction and building back better of 495 schools damaged by TC Winston. The PDNA tool needs to be synchronized with national tools like Detailed Damage Assessments or Sector Damage Assessments. The PDNA documents are important because they contribute to the body of knowledge needed to understand disasters impact in the region.”
The PDNA workshop is from 9 – 13 April, 2018 followed by a Training of Trainers workshop from 16 – 20 April. The training is facilitated by PDNA experts and sector specialists from the World Bank, European Union, UNICEF, UNDP, ILO and FAO.
Merana Kitione, Communications Officer, Resilience and Sustainable Development Team, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Tel: +679 3227 579 Email: email@example.com