“Search and rescue capacity important for crisis response….”
About 35 experts and participants from 17 countries in the Asia Pacific region shared their crisis response strategies, progress and the shortcomings to cope with natural disasters, during the 2-day International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) Asia Pacific Regional Meeting held in Kathmandu recently. The regional meeting was hosted by the Government of Nepal with technical support from UN OCHA, Humanitarian Support Unit Nepal for the second time in Kathmandu after April 2009.
The meeting focused on ways to build the national and international search and rescue capacity to deal with any likely major natural disaster in the near future. As part of crisis response group, eight local NGOs, Red Cross and security forces (Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force) demonstrated their search and rescue equipment and other necessary materials used during crisis or emergency situation.
Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar showed commitment on behalf of the Government to make Nepal a more disaster resilient nation. He stated, “Effective preparedness and mitigating the negative impact of disaster is now of primary concern for all of us.”
INSARAG Chairman, His Excellency Toni Frisch expressed the need to be prepared at all times for any major natural disaster. He highlighted the commitment of UN at the global level and the ongoing advocacy efforts to strengthen the national and international search and rescue capacity.
Mr. Sushil J B Rana, Secretary of the Home Ministry and the INSARAG Asia Pacific Region Chair shared about the progress that Nepal has made in terms of internal coordination between the Departments and Ministries to jointly respond to crisis situation. He thanked all the donors for their continuous support and coordination.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Robert Piper highlighted the significant progress made in the disaster management sector in the past two years. He also cited an example of the Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC), a collaborative group of partners addressing several dimensions of disaster management in Nepal.