US Missions and the interagency community are essential partners in any US Government (USG) foreign disaster response. The degree to which these partners understand the roles, capabilities, and processes involved in providing disaster assistance directly affects the ability of U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) to ensure timely, effective, and appropriate use of our government's disaster response resources. The DASP, in partnership with USAID/OFDA field staff, is leading efforts to ensure that USG partners fully understand their own roles, the role and capabilities USAID/OFDA, and the processes and mechanisms for providing USG relief assistance in response to foreign disasters.
How does DASP help US Missions become better prepared?
The Mission Disaster Relief Plan (MDRP) is a first step in achieving a US Mission's state of disaster preparedness and is an essential reference document during an emergency. The MDRP assigns responsibilities, clarifies authority and lines of communication, assesses host nation vulnerability to disasters, and sets forth guidelines for the conduct of emergency operations including the provision of USG relief assistance. A toolbox with important reference materials, templates, and examples has been developed by USAID/OFDA and DASP to make it easier for US Missions to prepare high quality MDRPs. DASP and USAID/OFDA field staff provide direct technical assistance, either through workshops or planning meetings, to help US Missions:
- Understand the resources and capabilities of USAID/OFDA, the appropriate procedures for accessing these resources, and the role of USAID in the event of a disaster;
- Build a good network of interaction, cooperation, and communication between the Mission, USAID/OFDA/Washington, and USAID/OFDA Regional Teams; and
- Develop the MDRP, which includes information on past disasters, existing vulnerability, and in-country response capacity.
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