A senior United Nations official today hailed Oman’s growing role in responding to disasters and in search and rescue operations, while calling for strengthening of the world body’s partnership with the country on humanitarian issues.
“The relationship between Oman and OCHA has developed substantially in recent years, and OCHA attaches great importance to the increasing role of the Sultanate in regional and international humanitarian affairs,” said Valerie Amos, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Ms. Amos, who is also Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, met with a number of senior officials during her one-day visit, which followed a visit yesterday to neighbouring Qatar.
“Oman has built a strong national capacity to respond to natural disasters and shown its commitment to disaster preparedness through a comprehensive reorganization of its disaster management and emergency response systems,” she stated.
“Oman has a wealth of experience to share with the entire international humanitarian community, and OCHA stands ready to support and facilitate any such exchange of information and knowledge.”
Examples of collaboration include a workshop in the capital, Muscat, in January 2010 that established the Regional Humanitarian Information Network for the Middle East, and Oman’s hosting of a course in 2009 on training disaster responders from the region in humanitarian coordination and assessment.
The country is also an active participant in the global International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) network of countries and organizations dedicated to urban search and rescue and operational field coordination.