Brig. Mukhtar Ahmed, Member (Operations), NDMA; Lt. Gen. Omar Mahmood Hayat, Chairman NDMA; Engineer Ali Muhammad Khan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs; Sisira Madurapperuma, Director ADPC; Sajid Naeem, Program Manager, ADPC, pose with the new NDRP-2019
The multi-terrain nation of Pakistan is home to diverse type of disasters. Fault lines travel down from its mountains to its coast which makes the country susceptible to earthquakes, while different climate zones lead to communities experiencing either too much or too little rainfall. As a result of this continuous need to stand guard against potential emergency situations, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in collaboration with Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) launched an improved version of the National Disaster Response Plan 2019 (NDRP) on 29 March in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The NDRP-2019 outlines the framework for disaster response based on the identified roles and responsibilities of multiple stakeholder groups. APP’s efforts since 2016 has led to the formalization of Pakistan Resilience Partnership (PRP) – a national multi-stakeholder platform that brings together government, local humanitarian organization networks and private sector networks together to work towards improving leadership and capacities in disaster response. Members include NDMA, National Humanitarian Network (NHN), Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), and recent additions Higher Education Commission (HEC) representing academia and Press Information Department (PID) representing media.
Engineer Ali Muhammad Khan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs was chief guest at the launching ceremony to deliver his support for the NDRP. Referring to the 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods that are perceived as the country’s worst disasters to date, he indicated that the Prime Minister’s vision for Pakistan is very clear and government is well cognizant of the threats and challenges they pose.
“Our leadership is on to it, we have will and support at the back of NDMA and other stakeholders for disaster resilient Pakistan" he said. He lauded NDMA for developing these elaborated plans and policies and believes that Pakistan is heading in the right direction to ensure a safer future for its citizens.
Lt. Gen. Omar Mahmood Hayat, NDMA Chairman said Pakistan has handled a multitude of disasters since its inception and this has resulted in matured disaster management bodies. He was confident that these bodies were becoming capable to handle all types of disasters at a short notice with minimum losses to human life, and mentioned that NDMA had considerably enhanced its technical capabilities in forecasting and closely monitoring predictable hazards.
Brig. Mukhtar Ahmed, Member (Operations) at NDMA provided background information on NDRP-2019 and its salient features. The plan is an improved version of NDRP-2010 drafted with a vision to incorporate and recognize changes in environment and disaster management mechanisms in the country over the years.
Mr. Sisira Madurapperuma, Director ADPC present during the launch ceremony lauded the efforts of the national government while also mentioning “The plan is beneficial for the country and can be referred to by the other countries in the APP network”. PRP members through a series of meetings last year provided constructive inputs in the drafting stage of NDRP-2019.