The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) handed over a comprehensive set of emergency response equipment valued at USD 75,000 contributed by the Brazilian Government, to boost the emergency response capacities of Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). The specialized satellite communications equipment, smart tablets and power banks handed over on October 8 are in addition to two mobile warehouses donated to the Fiji NDMO in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Yasa.
“With the next cyclone season approaching this additional emergency equipment will further support the preparedness capabilities of our colleagues at the NDMO and we thank the Government of Brazil for their generous donation,” said Jo Pilgrim, Director of WFP Pacific Multi-Country Office. “In these times of COVID-19, the additional hardware for satellite communications will give the NDMO greater flexibility for emergency communications preparedness planning in the lead up to the cyclone season.”
The broad set of equipment will support Fiji’s first responders on the ground with portable connectivity through the easy-to-deploy Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) terminals and satellite phones, in areas where regular communication infrastructure is impacted by cyclones and other extreme weather events. The smart tablets and power banks will support rapid data collection at the field level immediately after a disaster strikes, while the mobile warehouses provide surge capacity and flexibility for emergency logistics operations.
“The handover of these satellite phones, BGAN satellite terminals, power banks and tablets will not only upscale NDMOs emergency response capabilities but also assist in data gathering, planning and offer portable connectivity solution for the Disaster Risk Management cycle. Over the past few weeks, the NDMO has been working with government ministries, and partners to consolidate our national operational readiness check. An online platform has been created for this crucial exercise. The platform gives us the ability to know in advance the location of critical assets, and to make timely decisions for prepositioning or addressing the gap,” Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu said.
“The Brazilian government is pleased to have been able to contribute to enhancing the emergency preparedness of Fiji, with the support of the WFP. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of international solidarity and Brazil is keen to help the people and the government of Fiji,” said Mauricio Carvalho Lyrio, Ambassador of Brazil.