With an aim to boost Palau’s resilience to disaster, the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO)together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bangkok and UNDP Pacific One in Fiji conducted the three-day Early Recovery Training which concluded last August 2 at the Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. building in the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).

The very purpose of the event was to help government agencies device activities and mechanisms to be able to provide immediate interruptions from different sectors in times of disasters.

In an interview with Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Advisor and Disaster Resilience in the Pacific Small Island Developing States (RESPAC) Project Manager Noud Leenders who is based in UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, he said that the event is part of the disaster-resilience-related activities to build the resilience of the people, the government and the country as a whole.

“We are also looking at what needs to be done later for the people to recover and to get their livelihood back on track [after a disaster hit],” Leenders said.

Some of the help that the program is extending include strengthening early warning systems and climate monitoring capacity, enhance preparedness and planning mechanisms and tools to manage disaster recovery processes, and increase the use of financial instruments to manage and share disaster-related risk and provide funding for post disaster recovery efforts.

RESPAC is funded by the Russian Federation to support 15 Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) such as Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Tokelau.

Among the discussions brought up during the training was the realization that when disaster hits, the first responders are the people from the communities, hence, calling for further efforts to nurture this. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)