Strengthening the Readiness to Respond

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Credits: John Long, EPES, ESB, OCHA
February and March 2016, 80 inter-agency and OCHA colleagues were trained on the implementation of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) approach. Two regional training events were held, for Western and Central Africa in Dakar, Senegal and for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. Also, the Humanitarian and Resident Coordinators (HC/RCs) of the Middle East, North Africa and Iran were trained on the Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP), with a particular focus on their role in the implementation of the ERP, as the senior leaders are responsible for ensuring an adequate level of preparedness in their respective countries. In addition, a mission to support the updating of the ERP approach in the Philippines before the start of the Typhoon season was undertaken.


These activities are part of a global effort to strengthen readiness to respond by applying the practical, flexible, responsive and resource-light ERP approach, which aims at increasing the effectiveness, volume and speed of an initial emergency response in support of local and national efforts. Focusing on large-scale emergencies with multiple actors, the ERP enables readiness for an immediate in-country response by the broader humanitarian community and in conjunction with national action. It is based on three key elements: Risk Analysis and Monitoring, Minimum Preparedness Actions (MPAs), and Advanced Preparedness Actions (APAs) and Contingency Planning.

The Preparedness Actions are based on the fact that response is more effective if training, analysis, planning, pre-positioning, and information collection have occurred, coordination mechanisms have been established, and simulation exercises have been held. Bringing all relevant actors to an advanced level of readiness, a Contingency Plan should be developed whenever risk profiling indicates a specific risk with potentially catastrophic impact, or risk monitoring suggests an emergency may be imminent. If an emergency occurs, the Contingency Plan informs the Situation Analysis, the Strategic Statement, and the Preliminary Response Plan. Throughout this year, more trainings on the ERP approach will be held, and in-country and remote support will be given to enhance the readiness to respond.

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