On July 22, 2020, AmbassadorKARASAWA Akira from the Embassy of Japan formally handed over disaster management equipment to Palau Red Cross Society. The handover ceremony for “The Project for Enhancing Community Resilience in Palau” was held at NEMO Office in Airai, attended by chairman of the Palau Red Cross Society (PRCS), Santy Asanuma, PRCS Vice-Chairman WaymineToweiand other related personnel from the PRCS.

Through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, PRCSwas granted the AEDs, hand-held radios, a satellite telephone, a 4WD pick-up truck and materials for storage repair in the total cost of $70, 249to improve local resilience to natural disasters as well as to provide vulnerable populations with appropriate trainings and services.

From the experience of two typhoons that hit Palau in 2012 and 2013, people are now aware of the importance of natural disaster prevention. PRCShas also identified the need to build local capacity at the state level to provide outreach educational programs about the disaster prevention including First Aid/CPR training to local communities in Palau.However, due to its lack of proper equipment, PRCS cannot fully commit to the community outreach activities and the first response during and after disaster.

PRCS has established Red Cross Disaster Action Teams (RDATs) who would utilize the granted equipment to undertake and manage the basic requirements of response in times of disaster or emergency within their local communities in all of the 16 states.Some sets of equipment are already being used properly for local communities and are expected to benefit people of Palau in years to come.

At the ceremony, Ambassador Karasawastated that he was delighted to know some sets of equipment are already being effectively used for local communities, especially for returning residents and others during their quarantine period under COVID-19 pandemic from last May.

The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1999, for the purpose of responding to various development needs engaged in grassroots activities in Palau. As of July 27, 2020, the Embassy has signed 82 grant contracts with schools and hospitals as well as state governments and non-profit organizations. Education, health care and environment are the primary fields prioritized by Japan for GGP in order to contribute to sustainable development of Palau. For further information about GGP, please contact 488-6455 or visit the Embassy of Japan website at http://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/itprtop_en/index.html.

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