Cambodia stepping up preparedness for recovery

Report
from UN Development Programme
Published on 07 Dec 2018 View Original

Siem Riep, December 7 2018 – With support from the UN Development Programme, Cambodia’s National Committee for Disaster Management is increasing capacity on preparedness for recovery by localising international guidelines on post-disaster needs assessment and disaster recovery, and building the capacity of national and provincial officials to implement those guidelines

In 2008, The United Nations Development Group, the European Union and the World Bank signed a joint declaration on Post-Crisis Assessments and Recovery Planning, committing to collaborate and harmonize post‐crisis frameworks to support post-disaster needs assessments and recovery planning. In the following years, they jointly developed the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment procedural and technical guidelines and the Disaster Recovery Framework guide, both officially launched at the Sendai Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015.

Through the project ‘Roll-Out II of Strengthening Capacities for Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and Recovery Preparedness’, funded by the European Union in partnership with the World Bank, UNDP has been focusing on building capacity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Now in Cambodia, UNDP and the National Committee for Disaster Management are taking steps to improve up the country’s readiness to respond and recover after a disaster.

This week, representatives from the National Committee for Disaster Management gathered with line ministries** to review the adoption of standardized methodologies, tools, templates and standard operating procedures.

The objective was to learn from and tailor best practices for the local context. The overall goal: for relevant ministries and institutions to formally adopt a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and a Disaster Recovery Framework, with clear roles and responsibilities at the national and provincial levels, linked to Cambodia’s Disaster Management Law.

The involvement of key line ministries in this week’s meeting strengthens inter-ministerial coordination for post-disaster needs assessment, as stipulated in Cambodia’s Disaster Risk Management Law.

Training is key for national and provincial teams to be better equipped to conduct post-disaster needs assessment, which covers damage, loss and needs assessments and prepare disaster recovery frameworks in priority sectors that are frequently affected by disasters, such agriculture, housing, community infrastructure, health and education.

“When it comes to sharing information for damage and loss assessment, Cambodia already has in place a ministerial-level mechanism. However, there are gaps when it comes to carrying out assessments. Referencing global tools, and developing our own, will help ensure Cambodia is ready to mobilize in the event of a disaster,” said H.E. Khun Sokha, Director of Training at the National Committee for Disaster Management.

Post-disaster needs assessments and disaster recovery frameworks will also strengthen Cambodia’s mechanism (lead by the National Committee for Disaster Management) on coordination of assessments and development of recovery frameworks – the first step towards building back better.

Following this week’s consultation with various line ministries, the tools will be revised and further disseminated to Provincial Committees for Disaster Management. With that, Cambodia will have institutionalized the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and Disaster Recovery Framework at the national and local level. “This is the aim – to ensure that the tools, methodologies, processes and roles and responsibilities are well-understood by various actors.”, said Mr. Muhibuddin Usamah, Post Disaster Needs Assessment Project Manager at UNDP Cambodia.

H.E. Chean Mean, Advisor to the National Committee for Disaster Management said he was happy to see the continued capacity-building of government officials at the national and provincial levels in needs assessment and disaster recovery.

“Detailed needs assessments of women and more vulnerable groups is very important in addressing their specific recovery needs. Being introduced to the tools and guidelines will help us conduct proper assessment of loss and damage; and more importantly, help re-build the lives of the affected,” said H.E. Mrs. Lim Sokhan from the Ministry of Women Affairs.

“The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has already initiated baseline information and risk assessments in the education sector, as part of our disaster management committee task force. We have identified schools at high risk and we are increasing their level of preparedness. This is very relevant to the post-disaster needs assessment guidelines,” said Ms. Mao Tannavy from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

“The National Committee for Disaster Management is already conducting a capacity-building programme in the high-risk provinces of Cambodia – this is to be commended. However, more needs to be done to really institutionalize post-disaster needs assessment and disaster recovery at both the national and provincial levels,” concluded Mr. Usamah from UNDP.

** Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport; Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology; Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Environment; Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Social Affairs.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Jeannette Fernandez Castro, Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Project Manager, UNDP Headquarters, Jeannette.fernandez.castro@undp.org

Mr. Muhibuddin Usamah, Project Manager, UNDP Cambodia, muhibuddin.usamah@undp.org

Media inquiry: Mr. Samruol Im, samruol.im@undp.org