JOINT STATEMENT OF NGO PARTNERS
To participate in a retreat meeting between Government and NGOs which will be held on 17 February 2012 at the Government Building “Peace Palace” Council of Ministers, presided highly over by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia
Reference to the highly responsible spirit of the meeting between National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) and NGO partners conducted on 02 February 2012, we all have great pleasure when Samdech kindly provides us with an opportunity to meet, talk and consult some issues related to flood relief in 2011 as well as the previous disaster managements.
After the meeting held on 02 February 2012, we have an overall agreement to prepare a joint lesson learnt, challenges and recommendations for informing and requesting Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN.
The response to flood disaster in 2011 achieved good outcomes, and through recent performance, we gained remarkably considerable lesson learnt as follows:
- The responsive actions to flood disaster in 2011 were carried out on time in all affected target areas thanks to willful supports and collaborations of National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) at national level and sub-national levels, and in particular, the local authorities (villages, communes, districts, etc.).
- The local authorities and Commune/District Committee for Disaster Managements and representatives of communities took part in selecting poor households affected by flood based upon the approved selection criteria to be applied in each target area.
- The share of information data was carried out between organizations and institutions concerned, coordination and meetings between government institutions, NGO partners and United Nations Disaster Management Team (UNDMT), and particularly the global data management system called Drop-Box was created by the United Nations to facilitate the effective sharing of information among stakeholders.
- All NGO partners had precise policies, efforts, coordination, collaborations and resource raising and predetermined the supply sources with participation from private sectors, so the responsive actions had been carried out quickly and timely.
- The perversion of information on risk reduction among local people in some villages and communes through disseminating information at communities and schools contributed crucially to preventive tasks and preparedness. Moreover, the inclusion of preparedness action plan in the commune development plans, which have so far been implemented with cooperation with Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Planning, has been a core strategy for acceleration of implementation of national strategy to alleviate the risks of disasters.
We would also like to take this opportunity to inform Samdech about challenges we met while carrying out the previous tasks:
- Due to high level and long stay of flood (in regions of lower Mekong River, the flood continued until early November) and rapid flood in Banteay Srey district of Siem Reap province, substantial resources were used to respond to impact over achievements of development carried out previously.
- The information flow system as well as reports and reporting forms have only been practiced within individual institutions; therefore, so much time was spent to gather overall reports, both at national level and provincial levels.
- The mechanism of coordination between partners as well as institutions concerned, both at national level and sub-national levels, was observed that only limited development and improvement had been made.
- The preparedness plan had not been developed nationwide and it has not been better yet, so more difficulties have confronted the response to actual situation and needs of the affected people.
- The food and material modalities for urgent assistance were implemented in compliance with the respective institutions’ standard principles and no implementation complied with Sphere minimum standards.
- The determination of criteria for identifying affected areas and affected households was carried by individual NGO partners because of no common standard, so the people in some areas had feelings of jealousies and this prolonged the response thanks to the wait for resolutions to complaints.
- Request the propulsion of examination and approval of law on disaster management, which is a draft of this law being prepared to submit to Office of Council of Ministers.
- Request the strengthening and implementation of guideline on preparation of preparedness plan for responding to disasters at all levels (national and sub-national levels).
- Prepare safe high places with construction of proper infrastructures, including clean water systems, toilets and shelters for using when accidental disasters occur in order to facilitate the protection of women and education of children, especially the areas more susceptible to serious disasters.
- Reinforce and expand the mechanism for effective dissemination of precautious information at local levels, village levels and commune levels. The center for collecting and delivering information should be created together with means for fast and timely share and uses of information.
- Request the update and identification of poor households who are facing difficulties, especially in possibly vulnerable areas in order to facilitate the convenience in identifying the prioritized target households.
- Request the intervention and mitigation of negative impact of disaster over poor households who are falling in heavy debts with microfinance institutions and are unable to repay those debts on time.
- Request the strengthening of implementation of executive standard guideline for responding to disasters for all relevant institutions.
- Request the guideline on preparedness measures and reduction of risks of disasters through pervading the management of disasters in all sectors with particular attention to females and children.
- The committees for disaster management, both at national and sub-national levels, should continue to strengthen their capacity and resources for leading regular coordination and conducting urgent meetings when the situation of disasters is in emergency.
- Request consultation forums between head of government and NGO partners every year in the purpose to ensure the effectiveness of disaster management performance, particularly the cooperation in sustainable development of the country.
(Source: Joint Statement of NGO Partners, 10.02.2012; prepared by Caritas Cambodia, LWD, CEDAC, Padek, World Vision Cambodia, Concern Worldwide Cambodia, Care International, Plan International, Save the Children, Oxfam, ActionAID International Cambodia and Dan Church Aid (DCA)/Christian Aid)