10 April 2015 - What is the true cost of a disaster in human and economic terms? Once we know, what can we do to support the recovery of affected people? These are the questions to be considered next week by a group of 25 participants as they complete Palau’s first national training course in Post Disaster Needs Assessment, as part of Palau’s preparations for the forthcoming typhoon season.
The training is supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU) through a joint project called ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific. Starting on Monday, the week-long training will increase Palau’s ability to calculate the cost of damage and loss from future disaster events and to use this data to inform the identification of long term recovery and reconstruction needs and solutions.
Widely accepted as the international standard, Post Disaster Needs Assessments are comprehensive assessments that reveal the true cost of disasters by identifying all the impacts and calculating the cost of the damage and associated losses.
Their level of detail and accuracy provides a strong foundation for identifying and prioritising appropriate measures to effect timely recovery and reconstruction.
“The training will enable Palau to learn from recent examples in Fiji and Samoa where the assessments revealed that the true cost of disasters far exceeds original estimates,” the Coordinator of Palau’s National Emergency Management Office, Ms Priscilla Subris, said. “It’s also going to give participants the foundations for developing Standard Operating Procedures to guide the conduct of Post Disaster Needs Assessments in Palau,” Ms Subris said.
The training will be led by Dr Asha Kambon, a specialist in the Post Disaster Needs Assessment methodology, with support from SPC’s Dr Kirstie Méheux. It will run from Monday 13 April to Friday 17 April at Palau’s National Emergency Operations Centre.
Ms Priscilla Subris, Coordinator, National Emergency Management Office, firstname.lastname@example.org (+680 488 2249)
Dr Kirstie Méheux, Senior Adviser Disaster Risk Management Training, SPC, email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About the ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project
The project’s objective is to reduce the vulnerability as well as the social, economic and environmental costs of disasters caused by natural hazards, thereby achieving regional and national sustainable development and poverty reduction goals in Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Pacific Island States. Palau is one of 15 Pacific countries involved in the project. The total value of the project is €19,367,000.