CAMBODIA is to host the first international conference on pandemic preparedness and response, which will focus on managing the impacts of severe pandemics in Southeast Asia.
According to a joint statement issued Tuesday by the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the United States Agency for International Development, the exercise will take place in Phnom Penh from August 16-20 and is expected to attract more than 170 high-level participants.
“The unprecedented event aims to improve the capabilities of ASEAN member states, both individually and collectively, to prepare for and respond to a severe pandemic with potentially devastating effects on the region,” the statement said. Nhim Vanda, first vice president of the National Committee for Disaster Management, emphasised the importance of the event.
“Cambodia was one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to focus its preparedness efforts on non-health sectors,” he said in the statement. “This event provides the opportunity to bring the multi-sector preparedness focus to a regional level.”