Emergency relief means saving lives, alleviating suffering, and ensuring survival. Damage is repaired as rapidly as possible, and additional emergency measures are taken to help the victims survive. The next step is to re-establish basic supplies and services and to support the afflicted population in the task of reconstruction.
In 2003, the Government of Switzerland and the Government of India signed the ‘Cooperation in the event of disaster’ framework agreement. Article 12 of the MOU mentions the possibility of training programmes being organised towards enhancing the disaster response capabilities of India. This paved the way for the cooperation in the field of capacity building of India’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) units.
In 2006, Switzerland began supporting training of rescuers and canine search units of the paramilitary forces of India. Since 2011, the Government of Switzerland has been engaged in supporting the capacity building of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of the National Disaster Management Authority of India (NDMA). Specific consultancy support was provided towards India’s preparation for accreditation under the INSARAG (International Search and rescue Advisory Group) certification of USAR teams.
The ongoing phase (2016-2018) of the cooperation seeks to build a cadre of master trainers within NDRF, trained in the methodologies of Rescue, Search and Medical response. These Master Trainers will eventually transfer the methodologies across the 12 battalions of NDRF.