Australia and Sri Lanka exchange skills on Humanitarian and Disaster Response

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – This week Sri Lankan and Australian disaster management experts exchanged experiences on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR).

The four day program, attended by civilian and military representatives from both countries, included representatives from Sri Lankan NGOs and UN organisations who partner with the Sri Lankan and Australian Governments on HADR in Sri Lanka.

The HADR program was part of the visit to Sri Lanka by Australia’s Indo Pacific Endeavour 2019 Task Force – Australia’s largest ever defence engagement with Sri Lanka.

Officers from Sri Lankan tri-forces as well as UN and NGO representatives embarked on HMAS Canberra to observe firsthand the capabilities the vessel can deploy in HADR emergencies. This included deployment of landing craft, helicopters and Humanitarian Emergency Relief Supplies.

The group also visited Sri Lanka Navy’s humanitarian rescue training facility in Gangewadiya. A highlight for Australian officers was observing rescue training by Sri Lanka Navy’s specialist rescue units on responding to floods.

Throughout the four days, the group compared approaches to HADR and worked through the role of different experts and officials in disaster response. Both countries have walked away with a greater level of awareness of each other’s capabilities

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