DRM unit kicks off HNS workshop at Riviera …

NNA – The UNDP Disaster Risk Management Unit at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, within the collaboration framework between the project and the Euromed PPRD (Prevention, Preparedness, and Response to natural and man-made Disasters) South II Program, kicked off on Monday a “Host Nation Support (HNS) course” — a training course aimed at improving prevention and preparedness for disaster risks.

The opening of the four-day workshop — which will be taking place from the 14th till 17th of September at Riviera Hotel — took place in the presence of the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Defense, Major General Mohammed Kheir, PPRD South program Disaster Management expert, Laurent De Pierre Feu, and UNDP Program Manager Fadi Abi Al-Mona.
In his delivered word, PPRD’s De Pierre Feu, stressed the best means to boost coordination mechanisms between different agencies for better efficiency in responding to disasters. He also stressed the importance of sustainability, saying that this workshop is part of the PPRD south program which benefits Lebanon.

For his part, UNDP Program Manager, Fadi Abi Al-Mona, said that the workshop aimed at preparing state administrations and institutions to take the necessary measures to receive international support at times of crises.

“I hope that this workshop will help continue adding the previously gained expertise for swifter and better action,” he said.

In turn, Kheir delivered a word in which he stressed the paramount importance of the work being achieved by the Disaster Risk Management Unit at the Grand Serail. He heaped praise on the unit’s dauntless endeavors to train the private and public sectors within the different fields of disaster risk reduction.

“Today’s work shop aims at training public and private sectors on the means to prepare a Host Nation Support (HNS) plan, in cooperation with the United Nations Development (UNDP) Program and through the Grand Serail’s DRM.

After listing the many achievements of the Disaster Risk Management unit, Kheir stressed that all these actions would turn futile at the absence of follow-up and continuous training.
“Prime Minister Tammam Salam always stresses the importance of developing all the available potentials in a bid to teach the best rapprochements to mitigate risks and pinpoint the country’s key weaknesses in an attempt to draft the best strategies to manage disasters and mitigate them,” Kheir said.

He added that the activity of the European Union, through the “Euro-Mediterranean team” Euromed PPRD South 2 project, aimed to form a national team of experts in Lebanon that is fully ready to work and to take appropriate action in the face of crises that may arise.

“We seek to build a team that has knowledge of the mechanism of action, civil protection procedures of the European Union, and has a basic knowledge of international humanitarian law,” he added.

“At the end of this session participants will have the obligation to preserve the links and the knowledge gained to improve their skills and look forward to further professional training,” Kheir stressed.

The four-day training session will gather representatives of the ministries of Public Health, Public Work, Social Affairs, Education, Environment, Agriculture, Energy and Water, Telecommunication, Information, Economy, Foreign Affairs and Finance, in addition to representatives of the Lebanese Army forces and ISF, representatives of the Lebanese Red Cross and Civil Defense, which are all considered local partners in the development and implementation of the National Response Plan and Field Assessment Team in the framework of the Disaster Risk Management project.

Participants in this training course will be introduced to the HNS guidelines that aim to prepare concerned local partners, agencies and actors on how to request and receive international assistance. The program also aims to strengthen their preparedness and disaster response strategies, while highlighting key actions to be taken in relation to emergency planning and management.
Finally, this training will also enable the UNDP Disaster Risk Management Unit to assist the Field Assessment Teams, in completing the necessary requirements needed for effective Host Nation Support.

======================R.H.