Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) region comprises of 22% of the global population. Majority of BIMSTEC member countries are located in the Southern Asian region which is prone to natural disasters such as drought, avalanches, earthquakes, cyclones, floods etc. Disaster Management has been one of the top priority agenda items of BIMSTEC leaders. The first BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise – 2017 (DMEx – 2017) will be conducted by India from the 10th to the 13th of October. DMEx will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency in Delhi and the National Capital Region. The exercise aims at providing a platform for sharing the best practices on various aspects of strengthening regional response for disasters, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC nations
- Delegates from all the 7 countries of the BIMSTEC grouping – Thailand, Srilanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India will take part in the exercise.
- Senior officers from nodal ministries and representatives from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will also be a part of DMEx-2017.
- Major focus of DMEx – 2017 is on testing the preparedness in the region, resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction and agreements among the countries for immediate deployment of resources available in the region for disaster response.
- The exercise will be helpful in creating a synergy and synchronizing the efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation among the member nations.
- It will be helpful in effective and efficient utilization of the search & rescue teams for Emergency Response and Disaster Relief.
- It will help in strengthening the search and rescue teams, Emergency Rapid Assessment teams, mass casualty management in the situations that involve a complete breakdown of infrastructure and communication networks.
- The publication on the outcomes of the exercise will be presented to the leaders of BIMSTEC at the Summit to be held in Nepal in October/ November 2017.
India has been at the forefront of Disaster Risk Reduction efforts. It has hosted the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) and South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx).