As part of its regional disaster risk management programme (DRM), PIROI organises an annual coordination workshop at the end of each cyclone season, inviting all PIROI-member National Societies (NSs) to share the preparedness and response activities they carried out during the season, thereby broadening the scope for cooperation in the south-west Indian Ocean.
Due to current health restrictions, PIROI held this year’s meeting online from 3rd to 5th May 2021, and the 47 attendees took part remotely. Workshop participants included NS Secretaries General, DRM managers, and project officers, as well as representatives from the IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies) and partner NSs who operate in the region. Non-Red Cross Movement partners were also invited to open sessions.
The schedule for these three days of talks was designed to encourage DRM stakeholders to share experiences and best practices: various methods and resources were presented, aimed at improving risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response activities. The participation of civil protection services from countries where PIROI operates helped strengthen links between NSs and these services, thus developing proactive cooperation among the network of DRM stakeholders. Participants were able to identify common priorities through the insights presented in PIROI’s Strategic Framework for 2021–2025, and IFRC’s DRM Strategic Framework for the Indian Ocean.
Review of the cyclone season
The strategic coordination meeting was also an opportunity for NSs to review the past cyclone season and learn from the response efforts that were carried out. This year, despite such events having had only a moderate impact on the region’s countries, Malagasy Red Cross (MRC) and Mozambique Red Cross (CVM) both implemented early warning systems when strong tropical storm CHALANE and tropical cyclone ELOISE swept through. CVM played a very active role in responding to the needs of communities affected by ELOISE. As its mid-season arrival made considerable demands on prepositioned stocks, PIROI then dispatched almost 10 tonnes of humanitarian freight to Mozambique to replenish contingency warehouses there.
PIROI would like to thank its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners and associates for their participation, as well as its operational and financial partners, in particular the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), Météo France weather service, Reunion’s Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (CMRS Réunion), and the region’s civil protection agencies.
The meeting was organised with the financial support of the European Union.