By Hope Imaka – EM TV Online
Doing their best to save rural communities in 13 provinces from the severe impact drought and natural disaster, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has received US$1.24 million from the Office of Foreign Disaster (OFDA) of USAID to implement Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities.
The disaster risk reduction project will be rolled out in the most disaster-prone districts in the country including Western, New Ireland, Morobe, Madang, East New Britain, West New Britain, Oro, Gulf, Milne Bay, Enga, Jiwaka, Simbu, and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. IOM, together with GOPNG, has led the way in utilising globally accepted best practices toward reducing risks that natural disasters pose to vulnerable communities.
The funds will be used to help reduce the effects of disasters in rural communities, through a comprehensive approach of Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) planning, hazard awareness training and small grants to reinforce their protected environment. Follow-up assistance and initiatives will also be provided to sustain their inputs as well as increase knowledge.
IOM uses the approach of “catalysing self-help towards sustainability” where communities drive the process and foster coordinated efforts to share and grow together.
Under the project, IOM will also train national, district and local level stakeholders through its Humanitarian Response in Emergencies training programme. This training includes
- Emergency preparedness and response
- Community learning system
- Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and
- Common Operational Response Essentials.
“IOM’s approach to DRR in PNG enhances the empowerment of the grassroots structure to be at the centre of disaster risk reduction and disaster response in sudden-onset emergencies that can seriously affect their lives in the most vulnerable and some of the most remote areas of the country,” said George Gigauri, Chief of Mission, IOM PNG
The current situation of the El Nino that PNG has been facing, the worst that the country has experience in over a decade, has affected food security, water supply, livelihoods and stunted development. This proves that climate change is a tangible threat and risk reduction initiatives are needed now more than ever.