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Pohnpei Municipal Officials Learn Some of the Essentials of Humanitarian Assistance

Kolonia, Pohnpei - On August 28, 2012, the International Organization for Migration, in coordination with the Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM) conducted the first part of the Essentials in Humanitarian Assistance training. During this session IOM and OEEM introduced the concept of humanitarian assistance, and specifically, relief distribution planning and execution. The training was made possible through the generous support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The aim of the training was to introduce concepts of humanitarian assistance, disaster risk reduction and to educate participants on the fundamentals of humanitarian logistics, in preparation for a natural disaster response. Approximately 40 individuals attended the training, and participants included community leaders, officials of the Pohnpei municipal governments and Lieutenant Patrick Carl of Pohnpei Department of Public Safety (PDPS). The training team consisted of national government officials from OEEM and IOM staff.

 Mr. James Lukan, Assistant Director of Emergency Management Division opened the training while Mr. Ashley Carl, IOM Chief of Mission, introduced IOM and its emergency response activities globally and in the north Pacific region. Moreover, he introduced the concepts of vulnerability and hazard exposure to the participants and the relationship these concepts have with disaster risk. Subsequently, Mr. Ryan McVey, IOM Program Consultant outlined important considerations for humanitarian relief distributions. Specifically, he described the distribution planning and execution practices. Using small break-out groups, the participants completed resource identification sheets for each of their municipalities. These resource sheets will be helpful for facilitating disaster response actors originating from the local, national and international levels.

The afternoon allowed the group an opportunity to apply their new knowledge on disaster risk management and humanitarian relief logistics to a scenario, in which a typhoon strikes Sokehs Island. The participants had to formulate an evacuation plan, identify resource mobilization requirements to meet the probable needs of their communities. Once this exercise concluded Ms. Poll, Mitigation Officer - OEEM, explained the follow-up required by participants post-training. She also offered her personal accounts of disaster response in Yap and Chuuk. A brief Introduction to the Pohnpei Disaster Coordination Office was then presented by Lt. Patrick Carl, covering the organizational structure of the office and the tasks he is expected to perform in his capacity as acting Disaster Coordination Officer.

With the successful completion of the first part of the Essentials in Humanitarian Assistance training, the community leaders and municipal representatives are on their way to being more prepared to assist their own communities and to effectively coordinate their response efforts with the State and National Government, as well as the IOM, as the principal implementation partner for USAID in the FSM.

For further inquiries contact:
The International Organization for Migration
(691) 320 – 8735/95
IOM Micronesia website:

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