PESHAWAR: The National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) will extend Rs429.6 million grant to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for strengthening and expanding emergency rescue services in 17 districts of the province.

The NDRMF, a government-owned not-for-profit entity, is responsible for awarding, managing, and guiding investments, which will reduce risk and vulnerabilities associated with climatic change and natural hazards.

In this regard, the NDRMF and provincial government signed a tripartite grant implementation agreement for the extension of the grant on Thursday in Islamabad.

The agreement was signed by NDRMF general manager (projects and operation) Khurram Khaliq Khan, Rescue 1122 director general Dr Khateer Ahmad and KP secretary relief and rehabilitation and settlement department Mohammad Abid Majeed.

The projects will be implemented through the Rescue 1122.

A statement issued here said the total cost of the project was Rs613.85 million with the NDRMF having 70 per cent share totalling Rs429.695 million and the KP government the rest amounting to Rs184.155 million.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 18 months focusing on provision of ambulances, fire brigade vehicles, surveillance drones, scuba sets and other search and rescue equipment.

The project’s interventions are in line with the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP).

Earlier, the NDRMF had partnered with various government and non-government entities for extending grant financing to their projects which are focusing on disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

It has so far signed the grant implementation agreements with 10 fund implementing partners for their projects focusing on multi hazards vulnerability risk assessment, flood protection works, drought and landslide mitigation infrastructure, community based disaster risk management and early warning systems.

The statement said all projects for which NDRMF was providing grant had undergone through a merit-based and transparent process of selection in accordance with a prescribed criteria promoting gender equality along with ensuring environmental and social safeguards.

It said the NDRMF had established strong monitoring framework and systems to ensure that all the funded projects are implemented in an effective and transparent manner reducing disaster risks and protecting the local population from disasters.

Officials told Dawn that the funds would be used to equip with the Rescue 1122 with advanced equipment including explosive detectors, night vision cameras, all terrain vehicles to fight forest fires, thermal imaging cameras, mobile towers, fire entry suits, hydraulic cutter spreader and side scan sonars for underwater search.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2020