UN official wants improved disaster response

The National, Monday July 11th, 2016

THE Government, United Nations (UN) agencies and stakeholders are being encouraged to change their ways of doing business to address humanitarian and development issues in the country.
UN secretary-general’s special envoy on El Niño and climate ambassador Macharia Kamau said that before leaving the country on July 2.
Kamau was on a fact-finding mission in the country.
He met government officials and partner agencies, and visited drought-affected islands, exchanging lessons learned at the community, national and international level.
Impressed with the resilience of communities on Kiriwina Island, Milne Bay, the ambassador stressed the need to intensify efforts to support community preparedness and resilience-building, particularly through developing “climate-proof” agricultural and water supply solutions.
He emphasised the importance of sustained and expanded partnerships for resilience-building.
“Meeting with the communities affected by the prolonged drought has given me opportunities to witness first-hand the challenges people faced. Drought was not a new phenomenon for Papua New Guinea – and the communities from Trobriand Island that were extremely resilient. But the scale and duration of the El Niño-linked drought has challenged even the strongest communities.”
Kamau stressed on the linkages between disaster-risk management and the sustainable development goals adopted by world leaders to transform the world by 2030.
Given the increasing frequency of climate events, Kamau warned the Government, stakeholders and the people that they should be prepared for potential heavy rains and floods brought by a possible La Niña event, which may develop in the coming months.
Kamau will take his findings to a high-level meeting at the UN agency headquarters in Rome, Italy.
He will also report to the UN General Assembly later this year to raise funds for short and long-term relief and resilience-building measures across the globe.