OCFA holds ‘Introduction to Disaster Management’

Published June 15th, 2010 - 11:04 GMT

The UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA) today opened a training workshop on disaster management for UAE-based humanitarian aid workers, building on its mandate to enhance the capabilities of local humanitarian personnel and decision-makers in order to help them respond to disasters more effectively.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of OCFA, the three-day event will be held, in Arabic, from 15-17 June in Abu Dhabi. The workshop targets humanitarian aid workers who are interested in obtaining a good understanding of emergency planning and response procedures, and who will be available to respond to future emergency situations. Additionally, it will provide the opportunity for those with field experience to reflect on and review their skills and knowledge.

Commenting on the training initiative, Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, OCFA Director General said: "With regards to preparing for and responding to disaster situations, OCFA applies a comprehensive approach to improving the UAE's emergency humanitarian response. The interactive format of the workshop supports one of OCFA's key objectives, which is to facilitate knowledge sharing and to upgrade the skills and capacities of local humanitarian players in order to deliver more effective emergency aid in the face of disaster situations."

The workshop will include interactive lectures, group work and activities, mapping, case studies, a video, games and brain-storming sessions. It aims to develop participants' understanding of disaster management procedures, needs assessment methods, humanitarian principles and values and international standards such as SPHERE. A session on international humanitarian law, lead by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, will also be held.

"This is the latest in a series of capacity-building initiatives that will explore different techniques, approaches and best practices to enable key local humanitarian players to respond to emergency situations with greater speed and efficiency. Participants in the disaster management workshop will be acquainted with the main features of natural and man-made disasters, roles and responsibilities of the main international humanitarian actors and will also be introduced to key tenets of International Humanitarian Law during the course of the three-day event," added Al Qahtani.

OCFA was set up by UAE Cabinet decree no. 36 for the year 2008 and has been operational since early 2009 to help UAE foreign aid donors improve delivery of humanitarian and development programmes worldwide. With HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan presiding as the office's President, OCFA is assessing foreign aid donor needs; providing appropriate training programmes and knowledge transfers; and, building and strengthening ties between the UAE foreign aid sector and the international aid community by providing multiple platforms that bring international and local aid organizations together. 

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