Photo Caption: Front row L-R: Governor Duane Hideo; Marisol Perez, USAID’s Deputy Coordinator for Pacific Islands and Portia Franz, IOM National Program Support Officer, Middle row L-R: Paula Miller, USAID Country Coordinator-Palau; Waymine Towai, Executive Director, NEMO; Lori Williams, IOM Regional Counter Trafficking Consultant and Wayne Wong, IOM National Program Support Officer. Back row L-Rt: Matthew Kupchick, Our Ocean Advisor and Leon Debengek, NEMO Logistic Officer

Palau – As part of its continued efforts to strengthen community preparedness to natural disasters, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) together with the National Emergency Management Office and other partners completed the installation of typhoon shutters to three emergency evacuation shelters in Palau. The shutters were installed on doors and windows to ensure the safety of occupants during storms and high winds. The refurbishments are part of IOM’s USAID-funded project.
Speaking during a visit to one of the refurbished shelters in Ngchesar State, USAID’s Deputy Coordinator for the Pacific Islands Marisol Perez emphasized the importance of country coordination before, during and after disasters.
“We are now in a better position to provide a safe place for all the people in our community, not like before where we have to evacuate the community people to the Capital Building in Melekeok.” Said State Governor Duane Hideo reiterating the importance of the refurbishments to the shelters. The Governor also expressed his desire to continue similar collaborations to improve community preparedness until efficiency level.
National Emergency Management Office Executive Director Waymine Towai highlighted the importance of capacity development to ensure the maintenance and good care of the shelters “we have to ensure that state government receives the needed capacity and the support to sustain the shelters,” he said.
IOM will continue its ongoing effort working with partners to keep the population safe by completing the remaining rehabilitation work on the rest of the designated evacuation shelters. In addition to the installation of typhoon shutters, the evacuation centers will also be equipped with water tanks to collect rainwater.

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