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New Delhi : The first Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017, in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). This exercise will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries.
Delegates from all seven nations of the ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC) grouping namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, representatives from Embassies/High Commissions of BIMSTEC nations in Delhi, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and senior officers from the Nodal Ministries will be participating at the event.
At the 17th BIMSTEC senior officials meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal, on February 7, 2017, it was decided that India would organize the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.
The main focus of the BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 will be on testing the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction/dialogue/agreements for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response. It will help create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation among the member countries, according to a PIB release.
The exercise will help strengthen the effective utilization of the Search & Rescue Teams for Disaster Relief & Emergency Response including Emergency Rapid Assessment Teams and Management of mass casualties especially in situations involving breakdown of infrastructure and communication.
At the end of the four-day Exercise, a publication will be brought out on the outcomes and recommendations of the Joint/Common Exercise and include agreement among BIMSTEC Nations on regional cooperation for Disaster Management and Emergency Response. This would be presented to the BIMSTEC leaders at the Summit to be hosted by Nepal in October/November, 2017, according to the PIB release.
The BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 is being conducted in two phases in Delhi and NCR. The main exercise will comprise Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and After Action Review (AAR) scheduled from October 10-13, 2017. Earlier, the first phase comprising a Preparatory Meeting and field visit of site selected for FTX during the main exercise, was held in Delhi NCR on August 8-9, 2017.
India has been at the forefront of DRR efforts by hosting the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) and the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR). India has also offered its expertise and capabilities in DRR such as the South Asia satellite, GSAT-9, and the Tsunami Early Warning Centre to other countries. The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people constituting around 22% of the global population.