The impact of disasters on the Pacific Island region has been a reality for many in 2015 but dedicated work to help increase the way we deal with disaster has also strengthened coordination of emergency response agencies, this year.
The Pacific Islands Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA), formed in 2014, has achieved innovative and ground breaking results this year with the design of the first Strategic Roadmap for Emergency Management launching in Niue in November. This is the first of its kind in the Pacific region with Niue now having clear and dedicated direction on how to coordinate all of its emergency response agencies to ensure its community is best protected and best supported before, during and after disaster.
PIEMA has been supported as part of the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project (BSRP) implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) and funded by the European Union. The focus of this project is to create resilient communities to both disaster and the oncoming impact of climate change which has been hugely supported by the success of PIEMA this year.
One of the most successful achievements of PIEMA during 2015 has been the building of real and effective partnerships with disaster response agencies across 15 Pacific Island countries, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. These agencies are working together to support the development of best practice emergency response in the Pacific region with technical support (training) and infrastructure with some countries receiving donated fire trucks and technical equipment to best prepare them for future disasters.
PIEMA has taken a new model of partnership based development for the region and used it to support Pacific Island countries in how they prepare for, respond to and recover from the inevitable disasters that will continue to impact the region.
PIEMA’s dedication to finding partners that support the development of the best emergency response in the region has made this alliance one of the most innovative development initiatives within the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project. These partners are supporting countries in the region to develop strategic plans and capability on how best to coordinate before, during and after disaster to ensure communities most at risk and most affected are the first to receive support.
Looking ahead to 2016 PIEMA, as part of the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project, will continue to help Pacific Island countries create clear and strategic plans to ensure they are prepared for disasters into the future with more countries expected to endorse strategic roadmaps on how to best coordinate emergency response in their respective countries.