8 Sep 2017

Pacific reviews use of disaster assessment data

3:03 pm on 8 September 2017

Delegates from six Pacific countries have reviewed their use of data after disasters at a meeting in Fiji.

A birds eye view of Lavena village Taveuni in Fiji after Cyclone Winston

A birds eye view of Lavena village Taveuni in Fiji after Cyclone Winston Photo: Alex Perrottet/RNZ

According to the UNDP, countries and territories in the region have reported 615 natural disasters over the past three decades that cost their economies about $US4.4 billion.

In 2005 small island nations began conducting post-disaster needs assessments or PDNAs to ensure adequate support was given to areas worst affected by disasters and try to build some resilience to future disasters.

A UN consultant and disaster assessment expert Asha Kambon says the Fiji meeting tried to assess the value of PDNAs to Pacific countries.

"To see how is the information being used, how it has been recieved, whether it has had the intended effect. but you're also trying to identify what the cost for recovery will be. Then it is important to see whether or not that information has been used and how has it been used and it's a good opporutiny to see whether or not people need more training and how deep is the whole process, and so on."

The six countries participating in the review are Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. Also in attendance were representatives from key stakeholders such as the European Union, Pacific Community, UN agencies and international non-government organisations.

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