HCM CITY – A workshop to develop disaster management capacity for the four Lower Mekong countries of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam by encouraging collaborative efforts through dialogue and information exchange opened yesterday in HCM City.
The five-day Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Disaster Management workshop, hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with support from the Viet Nam Ministry of National Defence and the US Pacific Command provides a forum for dialogue and collaboration between the participating nations.
During the workshop, participants from the four Lower Mekong countries and the US will share practical knowledge and experience on issues such as flood management, disaster preparedness and response, food and water shortage, public health concerns, and pandemic control.
They will also identify national priorities and challenges, develop common approaches to address specific challenges and strengthen existing relationships while setting the foundation for future engagement.
Three days of active discussion sessions will be combined with two days of field trips to the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta during the event.
The workshop is part of the Lower Mekong Initiative, launched in 2009 by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the foreign ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam to strengthen regional co-operation to better respond to common challenges and opportunities in the areas of education, environment, health and infrastructure.
Addressing the opening session on Monday, US Consul General An Le said: "This past July in Bali, we committed to an LMI Plan of Action including sharing best practices and building capacity. This workshop on disaster risk reduction and management is an opportunity for all of you to share knowledge and experience to meet common challenges.
"This workshop not only facilitates dialogue among the LMI partner countries, but, crucially, it also connects civilian and military officials within and among our countries. Effective civilian-military partnership is essential to disaster and pandemic preparedness and response." – VNS.