Women’s Resilience to Disasters Program officially launched
An official launching of the Solomon Islands Women’s Resilience to Disasters Program (WRD) was held at Heritage Park Hotel, in Honiara today.
The program is a joint initiative between the Solomon Islands Government, through the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) and the Ministry of Environment and Meteorology (MECDM), in partnership with UN Women and the Australian Government.
Delivering the keynote address, Permanent Secretary of the MWYCFA, Cedric Alependava acknowledged the Australian Government for its continuous support by funding the WRD program.
Mr Alependeva also restated the Government’s commitment to addressing issues impacting the livelihoods of women and girls in the country.
“The Government remains committed to advancing the rights and interests of women and girls, ensuring they have opportunities to flourish in all aspects of their development as well as ensuring they become resilient to Disasters and Climate Change,” he said.
He added the WRD program is aligned with government commitments reflected in the National Gender Equality and Women’s Development Policy 2021-2027 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Meanwhile, Director of the National Disaster Management Office, Jonathan Tafiariki underscored the importance of women’s involvement in national development and disaster management plans.
“(The) involvement of women in disasters, at all levels, is essential for effective disaster management,” he explained.
He also emphasized the need for community inclusiveness – covering gender, the needs of marginalized groups, people with disabilities and the elderly – to effectively address the increasing complexities of natural disasters in the country.
Reports have indicated an increasingly disproportionate and often severe impact of disasters on women and girls.
Like other countries in the Pacific region, the Solomon Islands is categorized as one of the frontlines of disaster risk and climate change impacts.
By Andrea Ma’ahanua