InterWorks facilitated an Inter-Agency Situational Emergency Training – Refugee Situation Preparedness Workshop in Lusaka, Zambia from 16– 18 May 2017. was designed to support UNHCR, other UN agencies, Government agencies and other relevant stakeholders in preparing a concrete response to the risk of a large-scale influx of Congolese as a result of the humanitarian crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
During the three-day workshop, participating Government representatives, Red Cross societies, and other relevant partners participated in an emergency simulation exercise, were introduced to a variety of tools and standards, and drafted elements of contingency plans based on international refugee protection and human rights standards. The workshop was attended by some 47 participants, including Government officials, representatives of the Zambian Red Cross, IOM, UNICEF, WFP, and UNHCR represent by both local office and regional staff.
Participants were equipped with a variety of practical tools, resources, and standards related to emergency preparedness and response. Practical exercises and table-top exercises gave participants the opportunity to apply their understanding of these standards as per specific scenarios. Throughout the workshop, participants from all sectors engaged in open discussions on the current political climate in the DRC and Zambia’s readiness to address a potential influx, this discussion included conversations about relevant challenges and proposed solutions. Stakeholders expressed a positive spirit of willingness to support their Congolese neighbors, and intentions to provide a proactive response.
The workshop has been an eye opener as it is my first time to attend such kind of workshop. The information will help me in my day to day operations at my office.– Workshop participant