Workshop mulls disaster risk reduction under UN Hyogo plan

March 18, 2014 - 10:59:44 am

DOHA: A training workshop on disaster risk reduction, focused on a national programme and models of best practice, is currently on at the Officers Club of the General Directorate of Civil Defence (GDCD) here.

The Permanent Emergency Committee is conducting the two-day workshop in association with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said.

UNISDR regional programme officer Luna Abu-Swaireh and officer at UNISDR Fady Al Janan are delivering presentations at the workshop which also hearing the progress made on implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).

The HFA is a 10-year plan to make the world safer from natural hazards.

The UN General Assembly endorsed the HFA plan following the 2005 World Disaster Reduction Conference.

The HFA outlines five priorities for action, and offers guiding principles and practical means for achieving disaster resilience.

Its goal is to reduce disaster losses substantially by 2015 by building resilience of nations and communities to disasters.

GDCD Operations Department Director Brigadier Hamad Al Duhaimi, who is also the Secretary of Permanent Committee for Drugs and Alcohol Affairs (PCDAA), opened the workshop.

The workshop covers several issues on natural disasters risk reduction and reinforcement of national co-ordination mechanisms to reduce those risks.

On the first day, the workshop addressed UN's strategic goals to reduce losses, promoting effective integration of agencies, mechanisms and their responses.

Attendees heard a presentation on a national programme to reduce the risk of natural disasters and models of best practices and how to implement them.

The presenters discussed the implementation and monitoring of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), and how to monitor and report its progress and benchmarks to measure its progress.

UNISDR's Luna Abu-Swaireh reviewed the concept of disaster risk reduction and the definition of natural phenomena and its impact.

Globally no state is immune to the risks of natural calamities, she said.

Economic losses are rising despite new technology that has helped reduce casualties due to better search and rescue operations.

Information on the circumstances of each country, its geography, population demographics, infrastructure and economic development play a major role in determining the potential losses when disaster strikes, she said.

She also talked about means and mechanisms to prevent calamities and the importance of preparedness to reduce losses.

Fady Al-Janan summarized the HFA plan that UN member states have adopted.

It is the main framework for the implementation of the natural disasters risk reduction.

HFA's main goal is to build the capacity of countries and communities to cope with disasters by saving lives, infrastructure and economic losses during disasters. (QNA)