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Government, international actors discuss crisis management

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 16
Preparedness for disasters and coordinated assistance in crisis situations were discussed at a 2-day workshop organised by the United Nations on 14 and 15 April. The event brought together representatives of Georgian Ministries, the National Security Council, academics and urban planners, local and international non-governmental organisations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, diplomatic missions and the UN agencies in Georgia.

Speaking at the meeting Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Georgia, said: “During the last few months we have seen a number of disasters internationally as well as in Georgia. Earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Turkey, mudslides in Brazil, floods and landslides in different parts of Georgia, and the Racha earthquake this Monday morning remind us of the fact that we are exposed to natural hazards and need to take precautionary action.”

“Good communication between the Government, international organisations and civil society is a precondition for effective disaster risk management. No agency can do it alone,” McGoldrick went on to say.

The workshop discussed ways of assisting the Government to effectively respond to the risk of natural and man-made disasters. It also focused on ensuring that at the time of crisis Georgia’s hardest hit communities will receive timely, effective and coordinated humanitarian assistance. At a practical exercise the participants discussed crisis management mechanisms, sectoral planning and tactical decisions during a natural disaster, such as an earthquake.

Co-funded by the United Nations and the British Embassy to Georgia, the workshop built on the recommendations developed a year ago at the session organised by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN emergency planners to prepare the Contingency Plan for Georgia. With the aim to make the Contingency Plan operational, it was shared with the Government and other actors.

In agreement with the Georgian Government, disaster risk reduction has been identified as one of the United Nations priorities in Georgia in the coming five years.