Emergency Operation Center to Support Pohnpei State’s Emergency Response Capacity
September 25, 2023
Pohnpei, FSM - Construction work has been completed on the Pohnpei State Fire Station in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), with a handover ceremony taking place between Pohnpei State Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Center, housed at the Pohnpei State Emergency Operation Center (EOC) is valued at US$1,387,625, and is part of major activities under the Japan-funded Enhancing Disaster and Climate Resilience in the Federated States of Micronesia through improved Disaster Preparedness and Infrastructure (EDCR FSM) Project. The project aims to improve the capacity for preparedness and mitigation to man-made, geo-physical and climate- related hazards, and to climate change impacts in FSM.
In Pohnpei State, the Department of Public Safety is responsible for the organization, administration and cooperation of emergency assistance, and serves as the controller of the EOC. However, the Department of Public Safety, historically, lacked a dedicated facility to host these functions.
This challenge became even more critical following the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Pohnpei COVID-19 Emergency Task Force formed to lead COVID-19 related responses under the framework of the Pohnpei Governor’s Disaster Committee.
The new EOC is expected to play an important role as a central command and control facility to coordinate and support emergency response and disaster activities. The EOC will provide a dedicated space for key staff from relevant departments, offices, and agencies to work together, share information and make decisions, and use resources effectively.
The EDCR FSM project funded the construction of the core structure of the Pohnpei Fire Station, along with the ground floor, which was completed in May 2023. The Pohnpei State continues with the remaining works to complete the facility.
During his speech, Honorable Aren B. Palik, Vice President of the Federated States of Micronesia highlighted the critical role of the EDCR project in addressing the most serious existential threat of FSM, climate change.
“Climate change threatens our nation’s livelihood and survival, we are committed to addressing climate-related challenges at the frontlines where people are most vulnerable.
“Disaster preparedness is key and essential; and this facility is timely and most appreciated,” Vice President Palik said.
Pohnpei Department of Public Safety Director Patrick Carl expressed appreciation for the completion of the EOC.
“This is not just physical structure but a symbol of FSM’s resilience, unity and preparedness in the face of adversity,” he said.
Meanwhile, His Excellency Mr. Michigami Hisashi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Federated States of Micronesia also conveyed his confidence that the new EOC will play a central role in Pohnpei State’s responses to disasters and emergency. His Excellency likened the new EOC as a symbol of kizuna which means enduring bonds between people—close relationships forged through mutual trust and support.
“Japan will continue to be of assistance and make contributions to the people and the government of FSM,” His Excellency added.
Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Mr. Jaap van Hierden, who also attended last year’s groundbreaking ceremony, commended all efforts of stakeholders in the establishment of this facility and emphasized the importance of partnerships to build a better future for all where no one is left behind.
“Pohnpei’s EOC is not only a reflection of the hard work and dedication of EDCR’s partners and implementers, but also a promise of a more disaster and climate-resilient future for the citizens, for the residents and for the visitors of Pohnpei, and the Federated States of Micronesia.”
In his remarks during the ceremony, Kevin Petrini, Deputy Resident Representative and Country Manager for UNDP North Pacific, expressed his appreciation to the Government of Japan for their generous support, which enables UNDP to work with the Government of FSM on the enhancement of the country’s resilience to the impact of disasters and climate change, COVID-19 response and recovery and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“It is worth mentioning that the project has consulted with the counterpart to ensure occupational safety for both men and women in the facility from the design phase,” Mr. Petrini added.
The UNDP EDCR project, since its commencement in 2019, has provided equipment strategic to FSM’s disaster risk management. The project aims to strengthen gender sensitive disaster communication and climate monitoring systems; enhance gender sensitive national and state disaster responder’s readiness capacity; and enhance community disaster resilience through improved water resource management and integrated gender and social inclusion awareness.
For more information, please contact:
Takiko Ifamilik, Finance and Administrative Officer, Enhancing Disaster and Climate Resilience in the Federated States of Micronesia Project, UNDP Office in FSM, Tel: +(691) 320 4456, Email: email@example.com
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