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$99.59m UNDP projects for quake areas

Published May 31, 2006 12:00am

ISLAMABAD, May 30: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will focus on four key areas of governance, community- based livelihoods recovery, environment recovery and disaster risk reduction as part of its recovery project in the earthquake- devastated areas, said assistant resident representative Zafar Iqbal.

Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, he said a total budget of $99.59 million had been allocated for these areas and $22.48 million were available, whereas efforts were underway to mobilise resources to cover the funding gaps.

In the area of governance, UNDP’s BEGIN-ER (Building Enabling Governance and Institutions for Earthquake Response) project will assist in enabling local government institutions to regain operational efficiency in 156 union councils of the earthquake affected districts.

The idea behind this project is to support the development of technical capacities to plan and implement disaster response activities using a transparent, equitable and participatory process. Furthermore, this project will also engage the participation and mobilisation of all stakeholders including citizens and community members and in particular the vulnerable population who are difficult to access.

The TAMEER (Technical Assistance for the Management of Earthquake Early Recovery) project will assist towards strengthening Erra’s programmatic capacity by establishing mechanisms and systems in relation to planning, tracking and monitoring recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation activities in AJK and NWFP. In addition, UNDP will provide technical assistance in critical areas of mitigation of disaster risk through the adoption of building codes and the use of earthquake-resistant building techniques.

Under another project, the UNDP will assist work towards community-based livelihoods recovery programme for the earthquake affected areas. The main objectives are to revitalise and strengthen community organizations; restore and strengthen capacity of line departments and civil society organizations; restore income generation activities of the affected persons; revive the agriculture sector, and finally support construction of community infrastructure pertaining to livelihoods recovery and economic development.

Rubble recycling is another integral project. This will ensure the removal and recycling of rubble as well as debris from public buildings in the district of Muzaffarabad by adopting labour- based approaches and using heavy machinery. In addition, UNDP will facilitate in preparing sites for reconstruction and undertaking the salvaging and demolition of unsafe public buildings.

Realising the implications of the earthquake on the environment, the UNDP will focus on solid waste management including the recycling of debris; soil stabilisation and natural resource management, and capacity strengthening for environmental management.

It will also aim towards developing the capacity for aid coordination and strengthening Pakistan’s disaster management capacity at the national, provincial and local levels.

Speaking on the occasion, country director UNDP Haoliang Xu expressed the hope that these initiatives would help the earthquake-affected people regain some normalcy in their lives. “We want to be by their sides as they face the challenges of nature and livelihood.”