Quetta, April 18 (PR): The Department of Emergency Management of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), formally FOCUS Pakistan, in close coordination with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) for Balochistan launched the Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) and School Safety projects in Nasirabad and Jaffarabad. A launch event was held at a local hotel in Quetta.
In his opening remarks, the Director General PDMA – Muhammad Tariq said, “the Government of Balochistan is working together with its partners to minimize risks to human lives during disasters. There is a dire need to spread the CBDRM and School Safety programmes across the province.” He emphasised to increase the project area in future and to work on hard component i.e. hazard free infrastructures. He ensured the cooperation of his department for all sort of activities in near future.
At the occasion, the honorable Minister Education Mr. Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal said that the “Government of Balochistan is working to improve the lives of the people through providing basic necessities of life including food, education, shelter etc. The Government is also working to raise awareness among the communities to prevent them from natural disasters, with its partners including UN agencies, INGOs/NGOs and research institutions. The Government welcomes the launching of the United Nations World Food Programme’s CDBRM and school safety programmes in Balochistan”.
Funded by the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP), the CBDRM and School Safety projects will benefit around 3,150 community members by increasing their ability to identify hazard, vulnerability and risk. It will help to minimize loss of life and property during disasters covering more than 6,500 people including school children, teachers, school safety committees, local community members, trainers, local and district government officials from 40 schools, 14 revenue villages with 40 sub-villages in both Nasirabad and Jaffarabad. A similar project was launched in Sindh towards the end of last year.
WFP Pakistan Head of Policy and Programme Mr. William Affif said, “Pakistan has suffered from consecutive natural disasters and emergencies in the recent past including devastating earthquakes and flooding, causing the unfortunate loss to human as well as to the animal lives. These loses can be minimized by educating the people on disaster risk management and disaster response strategies”.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), NDMA and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs) have signed Framework of Cooperation for the years 2016 – 2018. The Department of Emergency Management of AKAH has been selected as the implementing partner of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Pakistan to launch a series of orientation sessions for projects on Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) across Pakistan. The Department also has the credit of developing School Safety strategy for Gilgit-Baltistan and commemorating 16 May annually as School Safety Day across Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral.
Addressing the gathering Nawab Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) said, “It is very important to build resilient communities in Pakistan as millions of people in the last decade have been impacted by natural disasters like earthquakes, floods and landslides. Disaster Risk Management is a shared responsibility of the government, private sector, civil society and the communities. This partnership will create the environment for all to synergize efforts for creating a safer human habitat.”