Rescue, medical teams leave for quake-hit Syria

Published February 15, 2023
Relief items, including tents and medicines, await to be loaded to an airplane at the Islamabad International Airport for dispatch to quake-hit Syria on Tuesday. — APP
Relief items, including tents and medicines, await to be loaded to an airplane at the Islamabad International Airport for dispatch to quake-hit Syria on Tuesday. — APP

ISLAMABAD: As part of relief aid for quake-hit Syria, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Tuesday sent skilled and professional rescue and medical teams to Damascus.

Minister for Safron Mohammad Talha Mahmood and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Hamid Hameed bade farewell to the teams at the Islamabad International Airport.

The NDMA also dispatched relief items along with teams including 131 family size tents and 3,966 kilogrammes of essential medicines for those affected by the earthquake through a special chartered flight of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

The minister and the special assistant said Pakistan would continue assisting people in Turkiye and Syria and the NDMA would send more relief consignments to both countries.

They said the prime minister had directed the NDMA to purchase the required items keeping in view the needs of victims, adding that Pakistan was not only utilising the air bridge but also ensuring supply of relief assistance through land and sea routes.

The NDMA has also dispatched consignments consisting of 90 tents for people in Turkiye through PIA from Lahore.

Meanwhile, the NDMA in partnership with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and Unicef commenced pilot training on Gender-Responsive Implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), here which will continue till Friday.

In line with a multi-sector approach outlined in the Sendai Framework, the key target audience were government officials and representatives from National and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (NDMA and PDMAs); federal and provincial chapters of Commission on the Status of Women Planning and Development (P&D), Women Development and Social Welfare Departments, Rescue 1122, Nespak, Geological Survey of Pakistan, Federal Flood Commission, Planning Commission and SUPARCO.

The SFDRR is the global blueprint for Disaster Risk Reduction and reinforces the shift from managing disasters to managing risk and also establishes resilience-building as a shared vision of the 2030 agenda.

The overarching objective of the pilot training was to strengthen Pakistan’s ability to implement the SFDRR in a way that promotes and supports gender equality.

Addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the training workshop, Romina Khurshid Alam, Member National Assembly of Pakistan and convener of the Parliamentary Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Task Force, highlighted the fact that Pakistan was the first country to adopt SDGs 2030 agenda through a unanimous resolution of the parliament.

She further mentioned that the SDG Secretariat was established in the NA in 2016 and since then the Parliamentary Task Force for SDGs is working on achieving 17 SDGs in the country, including gender equality.

Speaking about the importance of law and policy, she stressed on embedding gender equality across all institutional processes and legal systems in the country to prevent gender discrimination in disasters.

Chairman of NDMA Lt General Haider Inam Malik urged participants and officials to take full advantage of the platform to develop their understanding in adopting an all-inclusive approach in disaster risk reduction and management for vulnerable segments of society.

He said that building the resilience of communities through an all-inclusive, participatory approach is key to effectively manage disaster risk.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2023

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