OCHA’s Regional Office for the Pacific, together with the Private Sector Section (PSS) and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) hosted a Pacific business consultation on 3 June 2015 in Nadi, Fiji. 36 representatives from the private sector (multinational and national), the local district government and the international humanitarian community, as well as the governments of New Zealand and Australia attended the consultation. The consultation focused on identifying issues, providing recommendations and making commitments from the perspective of micro, small and medium-sized businesses community in emergency preparedness and response.
The following key themes and issues emerged from the discussions:
1.- Businesses in disaster-prone areas are operating at risk. There are often very few possibilities to relocate as they need to be where the clients are. Insurance premiums are often too high for micro and small businesses. Sometimes insurance companies even refuse to insure businesses in high risk zones.
2.- People and business on the ground are often the first to respond to emergencies, and the local private sector has a crucial role in emergency preparedness and response efforts, through its capacity to deliver substantial relief.
3.- The impact of disasters on businesses is often very high. The impact is compounded by the knock-on effect on the population as employees are often without income until the business can resume operations and business in turn have trouble resuming as demand is low or inexistent.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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