The first BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2017 (DMEx-2017) was held in New Delhi, India from October 10-13, 2017. It was conducted by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The mandate of exercise was to provide platform for sharing best practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) member countries.
The main focus of BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 was to create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation and inter-governmental coordination efforts on disaster response among Member States. About 135 delegates from all BIMSTEC member States participated in the exercise.
The exercise also aimed to test region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction and agreements for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response.
BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 objective was to help strengthen effective utilisation of Search & Rescue Teams for Disaster Relief & Emergency Response, including Emergency Rapid Assessment Teams and Management of mass casualties, especially in situations involving breakdown of communication and infrastructure.
During the exercise simulated scenarios in areas of flood management and building collapse search and rescue including Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and After Action Review (AAR) were undertaken.
The BIMSTEC is sub-regional grouping comprising of seven countries of South Asia- India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and South East Asia- Myanmar, Thailand. It is home to around 1.5 billion people, constituting around 22% of global population with a combined GDP of $2.7 trillion economy. Majority of the BIMSTEC countries are situated in South Asian Region (SAR) prone to natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, avalanches and drought.