Building resilience to strengthen disaster risk reduction
October 13 marks the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. At MSB, we work with international capacity development projects to prevent and manage crises and disasters. The MSB mandate stems from the framework of the Swedish development aid policy and the European development agenda.
The Resilience building section’s work aims at strengthening other countries and international actors, based on their own needs and capacities to prevent, manage and recover from crises and disasters. MSB provides support through the development of technical and functional capacity, but also through political and advisory support.
MSB integrates gender equality and environmental perspectives into all resilience building projects. The projects usually extend over several years and can include supporting a national system or focus on specific or parts of organisations.
Projects in disaster prone regions
Currently, MSB has several ongoing regional capacity development projects around the world. The projects are usually planned and implemented in a consortium with other European civil protection agencies or organisations with expertise in disaster risk management.
Leveraging ASEAN Capacities for Emergency Response (LACER)
In the EU-funded project Leveraging ASEAN Capacities for Emergency Response (LACER), MSB works in one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world. The aim is to strengthen capacity in disaster monitoring, preparedness and response and the project partner is the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) in Jakarta, Indonesia. The project is a component of the EU programme “Integrated Programme in Enhancing the Capacity of AHA Centre and ASEAN Emergency Response Mechanisms” (EU Support to AHA Centre).
Great opportunities for mutual learning between ERCC and the AHA Centre
Lawrence Anthony Dimailig, “LA”, Assistant Director for Disaster Monitoring & Analysis at the AHA Centre, sees real opportunities for mutual exchange between the European Union Emergency Response Centre (ERCC) and the AHA Centre within the LACER framework. ASEAN has a vision to be able to respond to disasters outside of its region, which is something that the ERCC has already achieved. The AHA Centre can also learn from the systematic approach to disaster response of the ERCC and EU. ASEAN being the most disaster prone region in the world, its members have a great deal of experience in responding to all kinds of disasters and can share lots of knowledge from these actions.
– Name a disaster and we have had it, LA says. A key takeaway from recent workshops held by the LACER project is that ASEAN experiences can shed light on the significance of sharing different perspectives on the same problems and the importance of institutionalising risk knowledge.
Preparing for coming disasters
– The capacity of a country is only as good as its weakest link, says LA, when asked how the ASEAN countries can be better prepared for coming disasters. He appreciates the need and importance to enhance the level of disaster response capacity through anticipatory action on a governmental level. On a family level, there is a responsibility to maintain a certain level of preparedness and to know what to keep in their go-bag to survive for some time once a disaster strikes. It is also important for the private sector to take responsibility for contributing to disaster management and to use sustainable ways of doing business when working in disaster prone areas. A vital concern is to reach the marginalised and most vulnerable communities; here, civil society organisations play a key role.
Prevention Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made disasters in Eastern Partnership countries- phase 3 (PPRD East 3)
The EU-funded programme PPRD East 3 works to contribute to enhanced disaster risk management, cooperation between the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and civil protection actors, as well as strengthening the ties between the Eastern Partnership countries.
– Our cooperation in prevention, preparedness and response to disasters with Eastern Partnership countries is of utmost importance for the EU. Thanks to the EU-funded regional programme on disaster risk management PPRD East 3 we are testing the resilience of civil protection systems whilst also learning from the past and preparing for future events, says Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management.
Enhancing Civil Protection in Armenia
In Armenia, MSB is implementing an EU funded Twinning project, in cooperation with the Ministry of Emergency Situations in Armenia, and the Fire and Rescue Department of Lithuania. The Twinning aims to strengthen Armenia’s Civil Protection system.
– Activities implemented within the framework of Twinning give our specialists the opportunity to actively cooperate with the specialists of the consortium in their daily work. They use the experience of our colleagues from the European Union, as well as adapt the documents being developed and, in general. This harmonizes our activities with the modern requirements of the best practices, says Tigran Petrosyan, Armenian Project Leader and Deputy Director of Rescue Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia.
The Twinning includes three components are:
- aiming to enhance the legal and policy framework of the civil protection system,
- to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the system and
- to improve the capacity to ensure effective human resource management and development.
Within the second component, MES recently took the initiative to form the first network of female fire fighters in Armenia.
– Representatives of the EU Twinning project in met with women firefighters and 911 operators serving in various firefighter and rescue teams in the regions of Armenia. The Component 2 Leader of Twinning project, Cecilia Uneram, the first woman firefighter-rescue officer in Sweden, presented her experience to Armenian women firefighters-rescuers and answered their questions. Armenian women rescuers assessed these meetings as instructive and inspiring, Tigran Petrosyan says.