PESHAWAR: The United Nations Development Programme on Saturday said Pakistan was ranked eighth among nations most vulnerable to extreme weather, it was working to build a disaster-resilient nation through the glacial lakes outburst flood (Glof-II) project.

“We’re working to further empower communities to identify and manage risks associated with glacial lakes outburst flooding and related impacts of climate change, strengthen public services to lower the risk of disasters, and improve community preparedness and disaster response capacities in eight districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Hamad Baig of the Glof-II project told a National Resilience Day event held at the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sheringal, Upper Dir, to mark the anniversary of the Oct 2005 earthquake.

Representatives of the UNDP Glof-II project and PDMA, pro-vice-chancellor, registrar of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sheringal, students and officials of the Rescue 1122 and civil defence department attended the event.

The organisers said the event was held to express solidarity with the families, who lost members to the natural disaster.

They said the Glof-II project was sponsored by the Green Climate Fund and implemented by the UNDP, climate change ministry and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

Hamad Baig of the Glof-II project said the day was marked to raise awareness of the devastating impacts of climate change-induced disasters with a special focus on disaster resilience.

“We [UNDP] support the government of Pakistan in tackling environmental challenges, natural resource management, environmental protection, and climate change mitigation. Together with the climate change ministry, we work on integrating government priorities to the climate change agenda,” he said.

Deputy Director (Disaster Risk Management) Mohammad Javed, who was also in attendance, said the 2005 earthquake had badly hit the northern parts of the province.

He said risks and uncertainties were increasing in the region due to climate change, greater frequency of extreme climatic events, extreme temperatures, and increased incidence of temperature-influenced disasters.

“The world in general and Pakistan in particular is suffering from climate change. Due to uneven distribution of monsoon rains, floods and famine are the fate of this region. In addition to these hazards, Glof is another emerging phenomenon observed in Chitral district in particular,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2022

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