BY GEORGINA KEKEA
A National Protection Committee was launched last night in Honiara. Established under arrangements from the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), the National Protection Committee is to localize disaster response and coordination.
Implemented by the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), this new project aims to strengthen women and girls capacity through protection and gender in humanitarian response.
Speaking last night during the launch, Permanent Secretary of the MWYCFA, Dr Cedric Alependava says his Ministry has obligations to support the committee.
“Unfortunately, the Ministry does not have sufficient budget to cover for the committee’s operations. Instead we depend on our members and NDMO for operational assistance and in some cases building the capacity of our committee members,” Alependava said.
He says because of this, he is grateful.
At the same time, UN Women says they are excited to support MWYCFA. Given the high levels of exposure to hazards that Solomon Islands face, a representative of UN Women has said that these efforts will play a critical role in disaster risk reduction efforts.
Also in a press statement, head of Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) Ghita El Khyari says WPHF is thrilled to see this project putting women and girls of Solomon Islands at the heart of localization strategies for disaster response.
“Globally humanitarian action has had limited input from experience of these marginalised groups,” Khyari said.
Also speaking at the launch last night, Protection Committee Co-chair, Dolores Devesi says NDMO and MWYCFA must be commended for this initiative.
She says as members of the SI Protection Committee, Oxfam remain committed to this work project.
“As a group of lead humanitarian agencies, gender and protection remain a core commitment to our preparedness, response and recovery efforts. We are confident of the Ministry’s leadership and project delivery capabilities and will continue to support this project,” Devesi said.
The project launch last night also have planned activities that includes the establishment of two provincial committees in Solomon Islands, namely Makira and Isabel.
The project activities began in September this year (2018) and is expected to end in September 2020. It is funded by WPHF.