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Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

NSET-PEER reaches out to Bhutan

NSET has conducted an exploratory visit to Bhutan during March 28-31, 2017 for potential extension of the "Program for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER)" Stage 4 (2014-2019). PEER Stage 4 is presently being implemented in four South Asian countries, namely, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan with the core funding from the United States Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

In order to gain a wider understanding of Bhutan’s present capacities and needs in emergency response, senior representatives from NSET (PEER implementing organization) and USAID/OFDA (funding organization for PEER), met with focal points from the Department of Disaster Management (DDM)-Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs (MoHCA), Ministry of Health (MoH) and Bhutan Red Cross Society (BReCS) in the capital Thimphu. NSET-PEER and USAID/OFDA team also visited a government field monitoring station for floods and other hydro-meteorological related phenomena, in Wangdue Phodrang District.

The 5-day Bhutan visit centered on the following primary objectives: (a) introduction of PEER to DDM leadership and professionals, including regional participation in PEER from Governments of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, and its possible extension to other countries of SAARC; (b) obtain policy clearance/approval from the Government of Bhutan; (c) identify nodal agency, partner organizations, training institutes; explain roles of program partners; (d) assess and learn about the capacities of key organizations in emergency preparedness and response; and (d) to receive any further guidance from DDM-MoHCA.

In the meantime, NSET-PEER encourages Bhutan’s participation in regional program events, such as during the PEER Regional Strategic Planning Workshop in July 2015 and recently during the PEER Swift Water Rescue Regional Course Development Workshop in April 2017. These events help in the sensitization for Bhutan to gain a better perception of the PEER process.

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