Launch Of Toolkit To Protect Pacific Businesses

A joint initiative focused on helping businesses prepare better for disaster was launched today by the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the Fiji Business Disaster and Resilience Council (FBDRC), with funding support from the European Union (EU) and the ACP Group of States.

An interactive toolkit outlining the devastating impact disaster causes on the region’s private sector along with ways to reduce it and information on how to create long-term plans for business owners is the focus of the research launched.  It contains a simple set of resources that can be used by businesses to support not only their own business resilience but that of their suppliers to ensure the region is more prepared for future disasters with regional businesses already providing positive feedback from the toolkit. The toolkit has been developed in the framework of the “Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP)” Project.

Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation’s (PIPSO) CEO, Ms. Mereia Volavola said this toolkit shows not only the need for businesses to plan for risks but highlights the real impact disasters cause to the private sector across the region. She said it is important that we build a risk management culture for businesses across the Pacific.

“We know when the private sector is resilient and prepared for disaster so too are our communities. The private sector is critical in supporting community preparedness so this toolkit helps businesses easily create their own disaster plans whilst ensuring when disaster strikes their ability to survive is already planned for,” she said.

Fiji Business Disaster and Resilience Council (FBDRC) Chair, Ms. Morika Hunter is already planning the roll out of training for the toolkit and said this tool provides action for businesses to genuinely help them protect their bottom line.

“Research shows that one in every four businesses typically won’t survive disasters if they aren’t fully operational within one month of the disaster striking. This is a terrifying statistic when you think most of our businesses in the region are small to medium in size.  Supporting the sector to increase its resilience is critical not only for the bottom line of businesses but for our communities that work for the private sector,” she said.

The toolkit was developed by the Pacific Community (SPC) with support from a wide ranging working group in partnership with private sector organisations, FBDRC and PIPSO.  SPC’s Deputy Director-General, Dr. Audrey Aumua said it is critical for SPC to take the lead on work like this to ensure disaster resilience targets both the private and public sectors alike and supports the integration of this work across the entire region.

“The cost of disaster on the private sector is not always front and centre but this sector employs our communities and, in many ways, supports our communities when disaster strikes so ensuring the private sector is supported to become more resilient means more people stay in employment after such an event helping  more local businesses to survive,” she said.

Head of Infrastructure and Natural resources at the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Mr Jesús Laviǹa recognises the crucial role of private sector as a driver of inclusive growth and job creation, ideally placed to deliver on the promise of sustainable and socially inclusive economic development.

“Supporting the sector to ensure the resilience of physical assets and planning responses could offer possibilities for value creation. Resilient practices and innovative solutions can be developed and become an important driver of future business and growth for the SME sector. Unlocking this potential for value creation can additionally foster economic growth in all the Pacific Region.”

The toolkit is available online at www.pipso.org.fj/stayopen.  The toolkit will be implemented by the private sector team over the coming months.

The targeted work was led by the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project, in partnership with the Fiji Business Disaster and Resilience Council (FBDRC), the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), the Pacific United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) with support from the Wellington Region Emergency Management Council, and funded by the European Union and ACP Group of States.

 

(Source: SPC – Pacific Community News Media Release 10 July 2017)

Media contact:

Lisa Kingsberry, SPC Disaster Risk Communications Team Leader,  lisak@spc.int  or +679 9252849

 Cost of disaster on private sector in the Pacific

Cyclone Winston Fiji 2016

  • “Data collected provides evidence that the private sector damage and losses from Winston far exceed those sustained in the public sector, accounting for 78 per cent of all the damage and losses estimated FJ 1.5bn”[1]
  • “TC Winston affected approximately 504,400 people, or approximately 62 percent of Fiji’s total population (estimated to be 865,611 at the end of 2014), resulting in estimated losses of 14,450,129 work days and F$351.45 million in personal income loss” (p.16)[2]

Tropical Cyclone Evan, Samoa

  • “The total effects of the disaster amount was SAT 465 million or US$203.9 million dollars”[3]
  • The impact of on the private sector across productive, social and infrastructure totalled SAT[4] $209,680.30 or almost half of the total economic impact of the cyclone across the country.  This rates as approximately 45% of the total cost of the disaster[5]

 Tropical Cyclone Pam, Vanuatu

  • “The total economic value of the effects caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam was estimated to be approximately VT 48.6 billion (US $449.4 million)[6]
  • “Analysis shows that 69% of the disaster effects fall within private enterprises and individual ownership, while the remaining 31% of effects are within public sector ownership[7]. (p ix)

[1] (Fiji Government, 2016) – TC Winston Post Disaster Needs Assessment

[2] (Fiji Government, 2016) – TC Winston Post Disaster Needs Assessment

[3] (Government of Samoa, 2013) Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, Cyclone Evan

[4] (Government of Samoa, 2013) Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, Cyclone Evan

[5] (Government of Samoa, 2013) Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, Cyclone Evan

[6] (Government of Vanuatu) – Tropical Cyclone Pam 2015

[7] (Government of Vanuatu) – Tropical Cyclone Pam 2015

 

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