The Chief of ESB’s Field Coordination Support Section (FCSS), Mr. Jesper Lund, recently undertook a mission to the Pacific from 22 to 30 October 2015.

The initial part of the mission was spent in Melbourne, Australia where meetings where undertaken with RedR Australia, to discuss our ongoing partnership. A meeting was also conducted with OXFAM with specific reference to UNDAC’s deployment in support of response efforts to the Tropical Cyclone Pam response which struck Vanuatu in March 2015.

Darwin 2

The next leg of the mission was to Darwin in northern Australia in support of the WHO’s first Emergency Management Team (EMT) Coordination Cell training. EMTs will likely play an increasingly assertive role in future emergencies so the involvement of OCHA in this training laid the foundations for closer partnership between WHO and OCHA in the coordination and integration of EMTs in field-level coordination structures.

Finally, the Chief FCSS attended the Pacific Humanitarian Team meeting in Suva, Fiji to provide an overview of the UNDAC system to members of the Government and humanitarian community in the Pacific to map out OCHA’s expanded engagement in the region through the UNDAC system into 2016 and beyond. Importantly, the Chief FCSS met with all National Disaster Management Officers in the Pacific in the margins to brief on UNDAC as an emergency response tool that is deployed, on request, to bolster local first response capability and to underline the importance of their engagement with the system if it is to succeed. OCHA will continue to further develop these relationships during the course of 2016.

Darwin 3

Photos credited: Richard Parker