BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
People of the Asia-Pacific region are severely affected by natural hazards such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, landslides, volcanoes, droughts, tsunamis, and wildfires. Asia's vulnerability is compounded by socio-economic conditions that steadily increase the impact of disasters. Demographic changes, urbanization, and environmental degradation have reduced the amount of habitable land available, forcing the settlement of hazard-prone, marginal lands, such as flood plains and steep slopes. In addition to natural disasters, civil crises and complex emergencies also impede development in the Asia-Pacific region. USAID/OFDA remains committed to assisting in the development of preparedness, mitigation, and emergency response capacities in the region for natural disasters and conflicts. Since 1995, USAID/OFDA has provided approximately $45.3 million for ongoing preparedness and mitigation projects throughout the region. To date in FY 2006, USAID/OFDA has provided more than $7.6 million for disaster preparedness and mitigation projects in the Asia-Pacific region.
USAID/OFDA/Asia Preparedness and Mitigation Assistance
Program for Hydro-Meteorological Risk Mitigation in Asian Cities (PROMISE): In September 2005, USAID/OFDA provided a grant to the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) for a new three-year phase of urban disaster mitigation activities entitled PROMISE. This program builds upon the activities of the Asian Urban Disaster Mitigation Program (AUDMP) through which pilot disaster preparedness projects were developed in targeted cities in Asia. PROMISE promotes hydro-meteorological disaster preparedness through demonstration projects in five highly vulnerable secondary urban centers in South and Southeast Asia, including Chittagong, Bangladesh; Hyderabad, Pakistan; Dagupan City, the Philippines; Kalutara, Sri Lanka; and Da Nang, Vietnam. All five target cities are rapidly growing urban areas with significant impacts from hydro-meteorological disasters within the past five years. Activities planned in the target cities include: preparedness and mitigation action planning workshops; hazard mapping and vulnerability assessments; the establishment of community-based early warning mechanisms; training and capacity building for risk-based urban land use planning; piloting community-based flood forecasting and warning systems; developing city-level disaster management information system and public awareness and advocacy campaigns; and the facilitation of micro-credit enterprises as part of pre-disaster relief packages to promote proper construction and improve resistance of houses to disasters. Total PROMISE funding since FY 2005 is $1,000,000 - FY 2006 $500,000
Program for the Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER), Phase II: PEER is a USAID/OFDA-funded program to promote disaster preparedness through the development of national and regional cadres of professional emergency response instructors. PEER is geared primarily towards earthquake preparedness, but is widely applicable to any collapsed structure or mass casualty situation. PEER assists local, regional, and national disaster management agencies in organizing and conducting training in Medical First Response, Collapsed Structure Search and Rescue, and Hospital Preparedness for mass casualties after a disaster. The first phase of PEER, managed by the ADPC, began in 1998 in India, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines. Phase II of PEER, implemented by the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) based in Nepal, continues the activities begun in the original countries with the addition of Bangladesh and Pakistan. During Phase II, PEER will increase the corps of trainers, adapt courses to national requirements, introduce a hospital-preparedness course for mass casualties, and create a coordinating network of disaster responders in each country. Phase II of PEER began in March 2003 and will continue through March 2008. Total PEER funding since FY 1998 is $9,488,453 - FY 2006 $2,290,336
Pacific Islands Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP): USAID/OFDA has supported PDAP implemented by The Asia Foundation (TAF) since 1995. The objectives of the program are to: improve the capacity and performance of local and national disaster management agencies and individuals; develop and adapt training materials relevant to the region; and strengthen the capacity of South Pacific nations to organize and conduct disaster management courses. The Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu participated in the first phase of the program. The first phase worked to improved disaster management training in multiple South Pacific nations. From 2004 to 2008, Phase II continues activities begun in the initial countries, with the addition of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands which will transition in 2007 to USAID from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for U.S. disaster assistance. Adaptation of USAID/OFDA-developed training materials for Pacific country applications are included in this phase of activities. Total funding to date is $3,605,084 - FY 2006 $544,943
Asia Flood Network (AFN): AFN aims to strengthen the capacity of regional and national hydro-meteorological institutions in climate, weather, and hydrological forecasting, directly involving communities at risk to reduce vulnerability to hydro-meteorological hazards. In collaboration with partners in Asia, AFN is jointly implemented by USAID/OFDA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Current activities are focused on the Mekong and the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Megna (GBM) river basins. USAID/OFDA, in cooperation with NOAA and USGS, has been providing 24-hour satellite estimates and short-term forecasts of rainfall over the region. Under AFN, riparian country representatives in the Mekong and GBM river basins have been trained on the use of satellite-based rainfall estimates and forecasts in 2005. In addition, USAID/OFDA, NOAA, and USGS conducted training in collaboration with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on flash flood guidance and dissemination of information to vulnerable population in remote areas. This program will continue through August 2008. To date, USAID/OFDA has provided $2,000,000 of the estimated $2,500,000 total cost - FY 2006 $500,000
Technical Assistance for Hydro-meteorological Disasters: The U.S. National Weather Service and USGS, with support from USAID/OFDA, provides technical advice and guidance to MRC and ICIMOD on various hydro-meteorological issues including community-based flood mitigation, data collection systems using telecommunications for real-time data collection and transmission, and data sharing in trans-boundary river basins. Total project funding to date is $170,000.
Volcano Disaster Assistance Project (VDAP): The USAID/OFDA-funded VDAP program, implemented by the USGS, provides technical assistance to national volcano monitoring organizations. In Asia, VDAP provides technical assistance to the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) in Indonesia, and to the Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory and Rabaul Volcano Observatory in Papua New Guinea. In FY 2005, VDAP initiated a multi-year project to assist CVGHM to improve volcano hazard monitoring and assessment through construction of a regional volcano observatory for North Sulawesi and the nearby Sangihe Island volcanoes, where more than 500,000 people live on the flanks of hazardous volcanoes. VDAP assistance includes training on conducting hazard assessments, development of early warning plans, installation and updating of volcano monitoring equipment, and technology transfers. In FY 2006, VDAP members deployed to Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Indonesia to assist with volcanic emergencies. The largest response occurred in April 2006, when in response to an increase in volcanic activity at the Mount Merapi volcano located in central Java, Indonesia, a four-member USAID/OFDA-funded VDAP team from the USGS assisted Indonesian authorities in monitoring the volcano- FY 2006 $465,000
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