ISLAMABAD: A World Bank team called on the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairman on Tuesday and discussed with him various aspects of disaster management system and sustainable disaster risk reduction models to protect vulnerable communities.
NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider Malik highlighted transformative idea of an artificial intelligence-based National Emergencies Operations Centre (NEOC) at NDMA as a leading forum for managing, collating and disseminating critical information pertaining to disaster predictions, early warnings and preventive measures and generating ‘common operating picture’ for preparedness of all relevant departments for proactive response and simulation exercises in advance.
The NDMA chairman informed the visiting team about the creation of National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) as national think tank on emergencies’ spectrum, which will be mandated to create a collage of national universities and international organisations for researches and studies on climate change and disaster risk management in Pakistan.
He emphasised on conducting the training programmes for emergency responders and volunteers along with maintenance of their database for their active engagement in future during emergency.
AI-based emergencies centre, creation of NIDM as national think tank among proposals
Both sides agreed to form a working group of NDMA and WB to chalk out collaborative framework for building climate-resilient communities in Pakistan.
Also, Dr Luay Shabaneh, representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for Pakistan, in a meeting with the NDMA chairman apprised him of UNFPA’s ongoing humanitarian assistance projects in flood-ravaged areas of Pakistan and advocacy programmes for gender-based awareness towards disaster recovery.
The NDMA chairman acknowledged the humanitarian interventions by UNFPA during floods 2022 and underscored the need of fostering authentic database for decision-making, planning and designing tangible goals for disaster management.
He discussed the technology-driven Remodeled National Preparedness and Response System and scoping of NIDM for tackling climate-induced multiple hazards in the country.
Both sides highlighted the need for conducting gap analysis of humanitarian interventions during floods 2022 and consequently reinforcing the shared vision of urgent human security benchmarks related to climate change, especially in remote areas.
They also agreed upon extending the cooperation to maximise the impact reach of disaster mitigation and response in hazard-prone areas.
Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2023