International disaster relief workshop kicks off in Taipei

An international workshop on disaster relief and humanitarian assistance jointly organized by Taiwan and the U.S. kicked off July 5 in Taipei City, bringing together officials from across the Asia-Pacific to study mitigation and response strategies for natural and man-made catastrophes.

The event is being held under the Taiwan-U.S. Global Cooperation and Training Framework, a platform for expanding collaboration on major regional and international issues. Attendees consist of emergency responders and policymakers from countries including Kiribati, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.

During the four-day workshop, experts from the National Fire Agency under the Republic of China (Taiwan) Ministry of the Interior as well as the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance under the U.S. Agency for International Development are sharing best practices in tackling humanitarian disasters.

The main topics include mass casualty incident response, collapsed structure rescue and the establishment of on-scene communications systems. Most of the instructional courses are being conducted at the NFA training center in central Taiwan's Nantou County.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, MOI Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong said collaborative programs such as the workshop can play a significant role in strengthening regional response methods since Asia-Pacific nations face similar challenges from natural and man-made disasters.

The courses organized at the NFA center, one of the largest disaster response training facilities in the region, highlight Taiwan's commitment to sharing its past experiences and expertise, he added.

Kin Moy, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, which represents U.S. interests in the country, called Taiwan a role model for disaster preparedness in the region.

Noting that this is the first workshop on disaster relief and humanitarian assistance under the GCTF initiative, Moy expressed his hope that participants will not only take advantage of the expertise shared by Taiwan and the U.S., but also use this opportunity to forge connections so as to facilitate rapid regional collaboration in responding to humanitarian disasters.

Since the launch of the GCTF in June 2015, Taiwan has hosted eight international workshops in collaboration with the U.S. on a range of issues spanning e-commerce, energy efficiency, public health and women's empowerment. As of the end of last year, more than 100 representatives from 21 nations had attended these events.

Source: Taiwan Today