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L'Union européenne, l'OACPS et la CPS renforcent leur engagement en faveur de la résilience face aux catastrophes dans les îles du Pacifique

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European Union, OACPS, and SPC strengthen commitment to disaster resilience in Pacific islands

Managers of Disaster Management offices from 14 Pacific Island countries and Timor Leste with development partners.

As part of the Pacific Regional Disaster and Emergency Managers Meeting (PRDEMM), key international partners, including the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), and the Pacific Community (SPC), convened in Nadi, Fiji, on Tuesday 9th April, to solidify their collective efforts in disaster risk management and climate resilience for 15 Pacific Island Countries (PICs), including Timor Leste.

The meeting underscored the unified efforts of international and regional stakeholders to address the increasing challenges of extreme weather events and climate change in the region. It highlighted the significant impact of these challenges on the development agenda of nations, where funds earmarked for health improvements, water access, and new infrastructure are reallocated to disaster response and recovery.

In line with this shared vision, the 11th EDF Intra-ACP/EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project – Phase II (BSRP II), in its second project steering committee meeting, had the opportunity to hear from different heads of National Disaster Management Offices (NDMO) on country level efforts to enhance disaster preparedness, mitigation, and recovery strategies.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Head of Cooperation for the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Mr Maurizio Cian, highlighted that “While much has been achieved, much still needs to be done to embed and operationalise disaster risk management within National Disaster Management Organisations, across key sectors and in ensuring that a disaster risk lens is applied to national planning and financing.”

He added, “As the main DRR and governance programme of the EU in the region, the BSRP II project provides an excellent opportunity for joint work in the region, and the EU is pleased to partner with SPC and NDMOs through BSRP II to address these remaining gaps and challenges.”

Managers of Disaster Management offices in the front row deliberate on the BSRP II project support to the 15 countries. 

Joining remotely from Brussels, the Team Leader of the Natural Disaster Risk Reduction programme, Dr Pendo Maro, echoed similar statements, saying, “We recognise the road ahead is still long and much remains to be accomplished.”

She reaffirmed OACPS’s steadfast commitment to collaborative action aimed towards strengthening partnerships and augmenting capacity-building endeavours. This will, in turn, support climate resilience and sustainable development across OACPS regions and countries. OACPS is convinced that through collective efforts and fostering inter- and intra-organisational cooperation, a future that is resilient, inclusive, and sustainable can be realised.”

Adding to the dialogue, Deputy Director of SPC’s Disaster and Community Resilience programme, Mr Exsley Taloiburi, outlined the strategic direction of SPC to work programmatically and highlighted the importance of raising the political visibility of Disaster Risk Management in the Pacific through effective representation at global events and high-level forums.

We are committed to strengthening collaboration and creating synergies between various donor-funded investments for our region, aiming for more programmatic and innovative approaches."

He added, “We have a duty to our communities and children to ensure that our efforts under the BSRP II projects contribute to a resilient and sustainable future for our region.”

The BSRP II Project will benefit a total of 15 countries, where 14 are from the Pacific region along with Timor Leste. The 14 beneficiary Pacific Island countries under BSRP II include: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.