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Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

PEER India Progress Review Meeting Held

National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) organized Program for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER) India Progress Review Meeting on May 31, 2017, at 03 Bn NDRF, Mundali, Odisha. PEER is a regional program funded by the United States Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and implemented by NSET since 2003.

Invited guests for this meeting were from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (Sikkim SDMA), senior PEER instructors from different PEER partner organizations (NDRF, Border Security Force [BSF], Central Reserve Police Force [CRPF] and Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force [ITBP]), USAID and NSET.

Dr. Amod Mani Dixit, Executive Director, NSET and Chief of Party, PEER in his speech, he appreciated India's initiative in integrating PEER training curriculum into the regular disaster management trainings for responders.

Prof. (Dr.) Vinod Kumar Sharma, Vice Chairman, Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority and PEER In-country Consultant, emphasized that India has State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) in their respective states but do not have qualified instructors to enhance the response capacity of their personnel. There should be a mechanism to train responders as in NDRF with adequate instructors and training/response equipment. He also said that PEER program should be continued in cost-sharing mode in India so that program ownership by the Government of India is continuously strengthened; and upgrade and enhancement of response capacity can be done as per PEER standards.

Mr. Dustin Shiau, representing USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, stated that USAID/OFDA from the past 20 years has been supporting PEER program, hence, USAID would like to see PEER countries take more lead in the program. Major General V K Naik, Senior Consultant, NDMA, focused on the status of 22 SDRF in different states of India. In his speech, he also mentioned that CADRE course is being implemented by SEEDS India at present and since NDRF has the capacity to conduct CADRE, NDRF should also take the lead in implementing the course in India.

Respected Bipin Mallick, Additional Secretary (DM), Ministry of Home Affairs-Government of India, thanked USAID/OFDA for supporting capacity development training programs in India. He also showed concern on the involvement of female participation in the course. He further stated that it would be better for the participants if foreign experts be a part of the training so that they can share their knowledge/skills on emergency response.

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