The 8th Regional Technical Working Group (RTWG) on Advancing the Private Sector Engagement (PSE) in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) took place on 25 August 2021. The session included 34 participants from the Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP) country and regional teams, the RTWG-PSE members and representatives, and observers from Bangladesh and Lao PDR. The meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on the activities of the previous year and the possible activities that members would like to implement in 2022.

Mr. Edwin Salonga, Program Manager of Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) Philippines, welcomed everyone to the meeting. He handed over the meeting to Mr. Malik Sohail of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Pakistan), who would chair the meeting. He reiterated the objectives of the meeting and provided a current overview of the effects of the pandemic on local businesses in Nepal. Mr. Sohail requested Ms. Shalini Kanwar, APP Program Lead, to provide opening remarks. She expressed her gratitude to the participants for their engagement in the working group throughout the year. Ms. Kanwar also updated the attendees that the APP would try to conduct a hybrid meeting with all of the country partners.

Mr. Edwin Salonga (top left), Mr. Malik Sohail (top left), Ms. Shalini Kanwar (bottom left), and Mr. Sajid Naeem (bottom right).

Mr. Sajid Naeem, Senior Country Program Manager of Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) Pakistan, conducted an online poll with participants. The questionnaires identified the activities that they found to be most engaging and insightful in 2021. Participants indicated that the Study on Impact of COVID-19 on the Private Sector, quarterly meetings of the working group, and the APP Self-Assessment Tools on Core Humanitarian Standards were the most useful. Going forward, the group would like to engage in more capacity-building initiatives, attend regional or international events, conduct expert sessions on thematic areas related to private sector engagement in disaster risk management (DRM), and continue the quarterly meetings with the RTWG. The poll was followed by a proactive discussion about the perspectives and reflection session during which members prescribed the best way to further enhance the scope of the group.

The meeting concluded with Mr. Sohail providing closing remarks and Mr. Salonga extending his warm regards and hopeful prospects to lead the working group in the coming year.