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International Disaster Response Expo launches

Peter Jones, chief executive of Nineteen Events, has announced the launch of the International Disaster Response Expo, which will co-locate with the organiser's existing event International Security Expo at Olympia London on 28-29 November. CN sister magazine EN caught up with Jones ahead of the announcement to learn more about the reasoning behind the launch. "It was brought to me by a very senior Lord some time ago, and it was one of those ideas that we held onto and explored and now we’re coming out and just doing it," he explained.

"This show is response and recovery for major disasters, that can be man made or natural disasters. It’s another area where Britain leads. I’m very patriotic on the global stage, and when you look at many disasters around the world, it’s quite often British teams that are going out there to aid and respond. We lead the world on capability and response to natural disasters. The International Disaster Response Expo will co-locate with the International Security Expo (previously the UK Security Expo) and Jones is confident that the move will increase value for visitors. "We spend over £10bn a year in foreign aid," he told EN. "We’re one of the only countries to meet our obligation to the UN to spend 0.7% of GNI (gross national income) on foreign aid. "Even in this modern day, when you think there must be a show for this, there’s not. Exhibitions are wonderful export platforms; they bring a huge audience in. With the International Security Expo we already have an audience of 12,500 and 350 exhibitors, and there’s a strong crossover between security and disaster response."

The event will have significant government involvement, particularly from the Department for International Development (DFID), the body responsible for controlling Britain's foreign aid. DFID will be chairing the event's two-day conference, which will provide valuable thought leadership and practical advice for the expected audience of government, NGOs, aid agencies, charities, military & peacekeeping, law enforcement, search & rescue, emergency response, private sector and contractors. Jones gives EN a sneak peek o the kind of topics which will be covered as part of the conference:

  • Preplanning, disaster preparedness
  • UK capability to support international disasters
  • The practical response to a major disaster
  • The funding and economic fallout of a major disaster
  • Keeping corruption and abuse out of disaster response
  • The impact of mass migration
  • The role of media and the importance of messaging and respecting local cultures
  • The return to a 'new normality'
  • Predicting the next major disaster or disease ‘x’