Preparedness in the Pacific Islands
PACIFIC PREPAREDNESS OVERVIEW
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 including the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Palau, Kiribati, and Tuvalu. Today, the ETC offers preparedness services in 14 Pacific Islands Countries, listed above under 'affected countries'.
The ETC in the Pacific is part of the Joint Pacific COVID-19 Incident Management Team (IMT) led by the World Health Organization (WHO) Pacific sub-office and has been key in identifying country and sector communication needs as part of this team. The following resources have been developed by or with the ETC in the Pacific to support the COVID-19 response:
- ETC Pacific COVID-19 operational guidance
- Interim guidance for Pacific Island Countries (PICs) on the use of digital health tools and systems for the COVID-19 health sector response
There are several preparedness resources available which have been developed for use by the ETC and its partners. These resources include:
- ICT Capacity Assessment (ICA) Guidance
- ITU-ETC Emergency Telecommunications Preparedness Checklist
- ITU-ETC Emergency Telecommunications Table-top Simulation Guide
- ETC Country Preparedness and Resilience Delivery Model
- Return on Investment (ROI) Model
Disaster-Emergency Preparedness and Response (D-EPR) for ICT Professionals -- The ETC in the Pacific delivers a D-EPR training course for ICT professionals to support the coordination of humanitarian disasters and ICT emergency response in the region. Topics covered include preparing a National Emergency Telecommunications Plan (NETP), developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), implementing different types of connectivity solutions in disaster scenarios, and participating in simulation exercises. The course is held approximately once a year. Please check the events page for upcoming iterations of the course.
All ETC funding in the Pacific is received under the WFP interim Multi-Country Strategic Plan (iMCSP). The budget available to the ETC in the Pacific to carry out preparedness and COVID-19 response activities in 2022 and into Q1 2023 is US$510,000. These funds were received from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).