Informal Consultation on Information and Preliminary Assessment for Immediate Response to Humanitarian Emergencies and Disasters
2 to 3 August 2012
Over the past decade, the Asia Pacific region has been highly prone to humanitarian emergencies with high consequent morbidity and mortality. International response to humanitarian emergencies has included the adoption of a United Nations cluster approach implemented at country level to establish a clear system of leadership, accountability and responsibility during a response. Further preparation and response for reducing risk in humanitarian emergencies and disasters has occurred through the implementation of the updated Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (APSED 2010).
Key partners for health during a humanitarian emergency response in the Western Pacific Region met at the First Regional Health Cluster Forum on Health Emergencies held in Kobe, Japan in August 2011. They developed a simple 'three plus one' operational framework for health cluster responses at the country level. A fundamental part of this framework was recognizing the requirement for information in assessing the health needs and risks that lead to appropriate public health actions following humanitarian emergencies in disaster-prone areas. A major recommendation from the meeting called for further development of the information required in the immediate period post recognition of an event and identification of common elements for assessing the health needs and risks to inform appropriate action for public health.
While a number of methodologies exist for gathering information and assessing risks for humanitarian emergencies and disasters, there is a gap in the time period immediately following recognition of the event. Member States participating in the Informal Consultation on Health Service Preparedness in Response to Humanitarian Emergencies and Disasters, held on 12–14 March 2012 in Manila, Philippines, called for a practical guide to information and risk assessment for humanitarian emergency and disaster situations.
Following the recommendations from partner stakeholders and Member States, it is proposed that an informal consultation on information and preliminary assessment for immediate response to humanitarian emergencies and disasters be held from 2 to 4 August 2012 in Manila, Philippines.
The objectives of the informal consultation are:
- to share experiences in post-disaster information collection and develop a framework for information collection for action at different stages of humanitarian emergencies; and
- to discuss and define a draft preliminary assessment tool to be used in the period immediately following a humanitarian emergency and disaster in the Western Pacific Region.