PRESS RELEASE: Inter-agency Field Simulation Exercise in case of an Emergency Situation Related to Refugees Influx into Tajikistan

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The Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Defence (COES), under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, with support from the UN System in Tajikistan, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and other partners conducted a field simulation exercise on Response to an Emergency Situation Related to Massive Influx of Refugee and to test current level of preparedness of the Government and Humanitarian partners to deal with the emergency in line with International Humanitarian Law.

This simulation exercise was first of its kind in Tajikistan and involved several civil defence and emergency management bodies of the Line Ministries and Departments of the State Commission for Emergency Situations, State Committee for National Security (SCNS), the Border Guards under the SCNS, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection as well as various international agencies such as UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, UNDP, OCHA, IOM, AKAH and Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan.

The three days simulation exercise tested capabilities and preparedness of all relevant actors to respond and learn from the exercise to further improve coordination, communication and oversight. The Simulation exercise started on 10th April in Dushanbe with the establishment of an Emergency Operational Centre (EOC) involving all Heads of relevant government and international Agencies and Departments to jointly agree on an action plan and roles and responsibilities. On 11 April, the implementation of the joint action plan was tested in Khatlon province which included field simulation in J. Balkhi area.

Thanking COES and UNHCR for their leadership role and all participating partners, Dr. Pratibha Mehta, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan said, UN in Tajikistan is supporting resilience building, prevention of any kind of crisis and preparedness to respond to any potential natural or man- made emergency which can risk sustainable development and achievement of SDGs. In this context, Inter-Agency Refugee Emergency Preparedness was a timely and very useful exercise to test the current readiness to respond to the crisis in line with the International Humanitarian Law as well as coordination and communication capacities of all partners, in case of a potential refugee influx from Afghanistan into Tajikistan, and use these lessons to address the gaps.

Lieutenant General Rustam Nazarzoda, the Chairman of the Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, said: Only through joint efforts we will be able to fulfill our core mission � to provide rapid and well-organized assistance to the population in need. After all, there is nothing more valuable than human life and its salvation.

Source: United Nations in Tajikistan