Program for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER) is a regional training program initiated in 1998 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) to strengthen disaster response capacities in Asia.

South Asia is highly prone to natural hazards; the resulting risk of damage and losses are also very high. Cyclones, floods, landslides, earthquakes, and droughts are the most common natural hazards. Tsunamis are rare but devastating when they occur. At any moment, a major event could cause large-scale loss of life, loss of assets, displacement and disruption of livelihoods.

The risk of casualty and asset losses due to natural hazard events is very high not only due to poor buildings and infrastructures, but also due to poor emergency response capacity and preparedness. Program for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER) has been the significant project in the region. PEER was initiated in Asia region in 1998; and since then three stages of PEER have been successfully implemented.

PEER Stage 1 (1998-2003): PEER Stage 1 was implemented by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), and was targeted to four earthquake prone countries in Asia: India, Indonesia, Nepal and the Philippines. This phase mainly focused on introduction of the program in Asia and to transfer the knowledge of the program to these four beneficiary countries, gained during implementation of such program in the Latin America and Caribbean countries.

PEER Stage 2 (2003-2009): PEER Stage 2 was implemented by the National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET). This stage included the initial four PEER countries with addition of Bangladesh and Pakistan. The objective of this program was to strengthen and institutionalize capacities in emergency and disaster response in the six participating Asian countries: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Philippines.

PEER Stage 3 (2009-2014): Objective 3 of this stage was implemented by NSET in the same six countries, whereas Objective 1 and 2 of PEER Stage 3 was implemented by ADPC in ten countries, with the inclusion of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

PEER Stage 4 (2014-2019): PEER Stage 4 is being implemented by NSET in four South Asian countries, namely, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, with possible extension to other countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) which include Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. PEER4 is a logical continuation of previous program implementation efforts by ADPC and NSET.

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