Preparedness in the Pacific Islands
The World Food Programme (WFP), global lead of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), is actively working on ETC preparedness activities in the Pacific Island region. In September 2015, WFP opened an office in Suva, Fiji, to support emergency preparedness in three sectors - Food Security, Logistics, and Emergency Telecommunications - across the Pacific Islands. On 30 November 2016, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster for the Pacific was officially activated under the structure of the Pacific Humanitarian Team (PHT).
In 2016, WFP prioritised the following Pacific Island Countries for national engagement for ETC preparedness: Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. In 2017, the ETC began expanding its engagement into North Pacific Island countries in the Marshall Islands (RMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Palau, Kiribati, and Tuvalu.
The ETC in the Pacific is part of the Joint Pacific COVID-19 Incident Management Team (IMT) led by the WHO Pacific sub-office and has been key in identifying country and sector communication needs as part of this team.
All ETC funding in the Pacific is received under the WFP interim Multi-Country Strategic Plan (iMCSP). The current budget available to the ETC to carry out preparedness and COVID-19 response activities going into 2022 is US$142,000. Funds spent by the ETC in 2021 under iMCSP were received from the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA/USAID) and through multi-lateral assistance.