DUSHANBE, May 14, 2011, Asia-Plus -- The Federation Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) training to improve the disaster response skills and knowledge started in the city of Norak on May 14, Abdulfattoh Shafiyev, Information/Communication Officer, Tajikistan’s Red Crescent Society (RCS), said.

The event that will last until May 22 is organized by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) jointly with RCS and Khatlon authorities under financial support of DIPECHO 6 and IFRC donors.

About 30 experienced staff of Central Asian, Russian, Armenian and Hungarian RC societies, as well as IFRC and ICRC staff are participating in the training.  Facilitators are selected and invited from different countries, experts on Disaster Preparedness and Response, Assessment, Shelter Provision, Recovery, Coordination, Water and Sanitation, Health, First Aid and Logistician.  Tajikistan is hosting the RDRT training for the first time.

RDRT is a cost-effective regional disaster response support developed by IFRC and is considered as a key element in IFRC coordinated response to sudden as well as slow onset disasters.  The Central Asian RDRT is entirely staffed by members of all five regional Red Crescent societies.  The RDRT team is composed of a core group of people with cross-sectoral expertise, such as health, logistics, water and sanitation, as well as generalist relief workers.  Most are vastly experienced at providing disaster response in their own countries as well as regionally.  The aim of the RDRT is to actively promote building of regional capacities in disaster management.

According to Mr. Eric Michel-Sellier, IFRC Country Representative in Tajikistan, the current training targeted to create a pool of disaster responders; to develop the skills and knowledge of staff and volunteers who will deployed on RDRT missions and to enhance the collaboration in time of disasters between National Societies in Central Asia.  He says the workshop is “an interactive learning opportunity and the chance to share knowledge and experiences. It will bring together different actors in disaster management field and promote good cooperation and a better understanding of the role of the different response actors in the field.”

As a part of the workshop a Simulation Exercise on the effective and emergency response to pretended natural disasters and coordination of efforts and activities is planned on May 18, 2011.  The RDRT training participants gained knowledge during lessons and theories will be practiced and strengthened on the Simulation Exercise.

Based on the scenario an imitated earthquake, landslides and floods happened in some settlements of Norak city and Red Crescent Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) should be able to response to the disasters in time, assess the situation and negotiate with the officials to find out the needs, plan and coordinate the activities to be done, participate in rescuing the survivors and providing them with first aid, psychological support, shelter, foods and non-food items, etc. Local authorities, including doctors, police, emergency services, in total Norak 13 response structures, and local population from the three administrative centers, as well as Tajikistan RC staff and volunteers will be actively involved into the Simulation Exercise.

Shamsuddin Muhiddinov, Central Asia Regional Emergency Response Coordinator of IFRC, says, the training participants will learn how to establish and lead a group of relief workers; to analyze the risks, prepare a plan of actions and budgeting; to assess the situation in case of disasters and to coordinate their activities with the officials; to provide rescue operations; to organize a temporary camp or shelter for survivors and to provide them with first aid and psychological support; foods and non-food items, to solve logistic issues and other challenges, how to deal with media and etc. The training participants also will be introduced into IFRC Disaster Management structure, terminology and definitions, IFRC disaster response tools and ICRC safer access and tracing in emergencies methods.