(CPV)- The Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Disaster Management Workshop was opened on September 12 in Ho Chi Minh City with the aim of developing disaster management capabilities for the four Lower Mekong countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand by promoting collaborative efforts through dialogue and information exchange.
The event is chaired by Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with support from the Vietnam Ministry of National Defence and U.S. Pacific Command.
“During discussions this week, you will work on disaster and pandemic preparation and share information on capabilities and priorities,” said U.S. Consul General Le Thanh An. “This workshop not only facilitates dialogue among the LMI partner countries, but, crucially, it also connects civilian and military officials within and among our countries. Effective civilian-military partnership is essential to disaster and pandemic preparation and response.”
The five-day workshop combines three days of active discussion sessions with two days of field trips to the Mekong Delta. Participants from the four Lower Mekong countries and the United States will share practical knowledge and experience on issues such as flood management, disaster preparation and response, food and water shortage management, public health concerns, and pandemic control. They will also aim to identify national priorities and challenges, work together to develop common approaches to address specific challenges and strengthen existing relationships while setting the foundation for future engagement.
The workshop is part of the Lower Mekong Initiative, which was launched in 2009 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the foreign ministers of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. The Initiative strives to strengthen regional cooperation to improve the collective response to common challenges and opportunities in the areas of education, environment, health, and infrastructure.