School children in Tonga a priority in times of natural disaster, forum in Venice was told

Tonga have told a forum in Venice, Italy, early this week the school children and their education were its priority in its attempts  to reduce the impacts of natural disasters, the size of the country,  its remoteness and relative lack of natural resources .

The forum, The Small Island States Resilience Initiative, was organised by World Bank & GFDRR to bring “practitioners in the Caribbean, Pacific, and the African/Indian Ocean Islands to share their experiences on challenges faced and solutions used in the design and implementation of resilience enhancing operations”.

“Natural disasters often damage and destroy school infrastructure, threatening educational opportunities and risking the lives of school children especially in the outer islands of Tonga”, a statement from Tongan government said.

The government undertakes to provide children  with ‘Safer Schools’.

“Some of the works in Tonga aims to reduce the physical impact of disasters on school infrastructure and minimize the negative educational outcomes that result from disasters”, the statement said.

Tonga was represented in the five-day meeting, from May 16 – 20 by NEMO Director Mr. Leveni ‘Aho and Principal Policy Analyst, Department of Climate Change, Ms. ‘Ofa Ma’asi-Kaisam.

The forum discussed the following topics:

  • Investment planning and institutional coordinationexperiences on institutional arrangements for resilience programs and share experience of coordinating disaster risk management and climate adaptation investments across sectors
  • Addressing operational bottlenecks: key operational challenges in resilience programs – including procurement, financial management and safeguards
  • Risk-based spatial planning (including policy, legal and technical perspectives)
  • Coastal Protection (including engineering, ecosystem and policy-based approaches)
  • Social Protection (including disaster-responsive safety nets and public works)
  • Risk Financing (including risk-pooling, budgetary planning, contingent finance)

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