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World Bank has agreed to assist in disaster management projects, says NDMA chairman

Updated August 30, 2018

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Chairman National Disaster Management Authority Lt. Gen. Omar Mahmood Yayat — APP
Chairman National Disaster Management Authority Lt. Gen. Omar Mahmood Yayat — APP

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Omar Mahmood Hayat on Thursday said that the World Bank (WB) has agreed to provide financial assistance to the authority.

The NDMA chairman told APP that the authority aims to create an integrated information management system with the assistance of World Bank. The aid will go towards the execution of its various disaster management projects, he added.

Lt Gen Hayat said that National Disaster Risk Management Force, initially comprising 200 personnel, is a part of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) projects to be executed by the authority.

"A working paper has been sent to all the chief ministers, explaining to them the workings of empowering and configuring DDMAs for appropriate disaster response and risk management," Gen Hayat said.

"All provincial governments have notified about these measures and some have even started adopting the proposed system," he said.

While commenting on Prime Minister Imran Khan's stance to empower local bodies, he said local bodies were critical to the DDMA setup.

Lt Gen Hayat said NDMA is the only national-level disaster management organisation which employees only 150 personnel.

"Thailand's disaster management authority in Bangkok has a staff of 6,500 personnel while the Turkish authority has a 10,000 personnel staff," he added.

He said that the country bore losses worth US$ 18 billion during the floods from 1947-2010 while from 2010-2018 the damages were worth over US$ 19.5 billion.

"If one-tenth the of the mentioned amount was invested for disaster risk mitigation measures, we could reduce these huge losses caused by floods," the chairman maintained.

According to Lt Gen Hayat, the NDMA has developed a proactive approach to mitigate monsoon disaster risks and damages with an efficient system.

"It collects preliminary data with the help of concerned departments based on the weather forecasts indicating monsoon patterns and likely impacts," he explained.

"The authority then holds a pre-monsoon preparedness conference to share the forecast of monsoon season for making the district administrations, PDMAs and DDMAs aware and preventive measures," he concluded.