Using military/civil defence assets in disaster relief
Using civil defence assets for humanitarian assistance
Due to the magnitude and the sudden impact of a disaster, the limits of the response may be quickly reached. When used, military and civilian defence assets (MCDA) have contributed to disaster relief, and their increased use is advocated. In essence, MCDA by their very structure may bring a substantial logistic potential to an operation, in terms of organization and public support services.
The UN/Red Cross and Red Crescent Military and Civil Defence Assets project (MCDA) was developed as one of the complementary responses to the acknowledged humanitarian gap between the disaster needs that the relief community is being asked to satisfy and the resources available to meet them. Its objective is to develop guidelines for the use of MCDA in international response to natural, technological and environmental sudden disaster situations. A set of draft guidelines standardizing disaster relief operating procedures for MCDA was produced by the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (UNDHA) and discharged by an international team of experts drawn from the diplomatic, military, civil defence and disaster relief communities. In a second phase, a dedicated emergency management system will be set up to facilitate the use of these resources through regional consultative mechanisms in cooperation with UNDHA. Confidence building will also be undertaken through multinational training and field based exercises. The International Conference on the use of Military and Civil Defence Assets in Disaster (MCDA) relief was held in Oslo, Norway, in January 1994.
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