JOINT PRESS RELEASE – CROP Agencies unify to support Pacific countries recover and rebuild after Cyclone PAM.
“The Pacific family stands together to face the tragic recent effects of the tropical cyclones in the Pacific. We are not only linked by our grief and prayers for the dead, injured and homeless but also in our resolve to work together to support our brothers and sisters in Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Republic of the Marshall Islands and New Caledonia.
As Pacific regional organisations, we are not just friends lending a hand, we are your countrymen and women who grieve with you for lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods in these terrible events, and as your family we stand by you to help rebuild your lives.
This and other disasters that transcend national boundaries reaffirm our view that national responses can be enhanced by regional cooperation as embodied in the values of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the current Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005–2015 and the draft Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific, which will be presented to our Pacific leaders later this year. A regional approach can support a more integrated and comprehensive strategy to address vulnerability, fragmentation of aid, improved coordination by development partners and leveraging of additional resources.
While there remain many gaps in understanding the full extent of loss of life and damage, as the members of the Council of the Regional Organisations of the Pacific, we commit ourselves to combine our political resources, technical skills and expertise and people to support our Members and their populations in the coming days, weeks and months. In particular, we:
- Commit to providing scientific and technical support for disaster response teams in affected countries, based on identified needs and gaps, and in consultation with your governments and humanitarian assistance partners, already on the ground;
- Will work to mobilise additional funds and modalities required to support national recovery efforts; and
- Will participate in on-ground assessments of the damage and explore the lessons from the coordination of the aid efforts.
As a Pacific community we commit to building the resilience of our islands and to help protect the lives and livelihoods of Pacific island people in the face of the increasing frequency and ferocity of disasters that result from extreme, natural hazard risk events.
We come together to support our family in their hour of need and the ongoing work into the future.”
The nine CROP members are the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the University of the South Pacific (USP), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO), the Pacific Islands Development Programme (PIDP), Pacific Power Association (PPA) and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO).