The Disaster Management Team (DMT) was established in December 2001 and consists of relevant UN agencies present in Georgia, several interested donors, international non-governmental organisations, and with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Georgian Government as observers. The DMT is chaired by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.

The primary purpose of the DMT is to prepare for and facilitate a prompt, effective and concerted country-level response by the UN system and the member international entities in the event of a disaster/emergency. The Team facilitates co-ordination of international assistance to the receiving government in respect to emergency response, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and disaster mitigation.

After the earthquake in Tbilisi on 25 April, the DMT was mobilised emergency relief aid was provided to victims of the earthquake, including IDPs, to complement the efforts of the Government. The DMT made an assessment of four field sites where approximately 362 families (about 1,122 people) have been relocated in order to identify gaps in assistance. Urgent relief needs, such as food, tents, beds, linen/blankets, clothes, hygienic kits, were identified. Fortunately, DMT members agencies were able to cover most of these immediate needs by in-country available resources. The following DMT members have covered this immediate relief needs of affected population: UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Volunteers (UNV), World Food Programme (WFP), World Vision International, United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR), Counterpart International, and ICRC (see photos).

The DMT joined the Government of Georgia to produce a unified position to meet the immediate and long-term needs after the April 25 earthquake. The appeal for prioritized emergency relief and rehabilitation was prepared by the DMT and Government of Georgia. It estimates that the emergency rehabilitation needs for repairing or rebuilding key public infrastructure (such as schools) and the most dangerously damaged dwellings will cost USD52 million.

The Government requests further technical assistance from donors both to fully elaborate the programmes for immediate emergency rehabilitation effort, as well as for the longer-term rehabilitation needs. In this context, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) expert has arrived this week to collaborate with the Georgian specialists and authorities on these concerns.

The DMT is currently assessing new field sites where more affected households are being moved. It is envisaged that basic relief needs would be again covered by local resources although there might be a need for additional donor resources to cover all potential requirements as outlined in the appeal document.