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PR No. 113 DISASTER RESILIENT DEVELOPMENT GOVERNMENT’S TOP AGENDA: NAEEM UL HAQ Islamabad: October 13, 2018

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Affairs, Naeem Ul Haq has said that present government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan has a strong commitment for developing disaster resilient cities and infrastructure. He made this statement in his address as a Chief Guest in a public ceremony held at F-9 Park. The event was organized by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to observe ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction’. The SAPM stressed that as part of its long term planning, present government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf was working on creating resilient infrastructures and mechanisms to cope up with entire spectrum of disasters. He highlighted the importance of community awareness and involvement as an essential component of Disaster Risk Mitigation, and applauded the efforts of NDMA for engaging communities by observing ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction’ as an open event to general public. Chairman NDMA, Lieutenant General Omar Mahmood Hayat in his welcome address said that Pakistan, being a most disaster prone country, has endured more than its fair share of disasters from floods, earthquakes, droughts and landslides during the last two decades. He acknowledged and appreciated the help and assistance rendered by international community to Pakistan during past disasters and said that to align itself with the aspirations of international community, from this year onwards NDMA has decided to observe 13th October as ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction’. While emphasizing the importance of proactive disaster management he said, “Old reactionary and response oriented disaster management is being replaced with more engaging approach of disaster risk reduction and pre-emptive mitigation”. Chairman NDMA also thanked UN Agencies and other development partners, for their active support in NDMA’s endeavors to build a ‘Resilient Pakistan’. Earlier Member Operations, NDMA dilated upon the aim and objective of the celebrating 13th October as ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction’. He also briefed the participant on various activities that were designed for the Day. He appreciated that general public participated in the event in great number and said that it was a reflection and a hope for prosperous future and disaster resilient Pakistan. There was a variety of activities to engage children, youth, civil society and people from all walks of life to educate them about potential hazards and challenges and measures to mitigate the disaster risks. The activities included, plantation of saplings, signing the pledge wall with the theme ‘we pledge for a disaster resilient Pakistan, and short walk in F-9 Park. A flag march of USAR teams and Fire Fighting Vehicles was arranged by NDMA, starting from Jinnah Convention Center, Islamabad and culminating at Fatima Jinnah Park. People from different walks of life also participated in Flag March. A cyclothon comprising of over 50 cyclists also marched through the major roads of the city, to mark the day, highlighting the importance preparedness for disasters. Gender & Child Cell (GCC) of NDMA under Pakistan School Safety Programm (PSSF) arrange a drawing festival, in which various government and private schools from Rawalpindi and Islamabad participated. This year NDMA joined hands with International Community to observe October 13 as ‘International Day for Disaster Reduction. Earlier, 8th October was commemorated as ‘National Resilience Day’ to pay homage to martyrs and to express solidarity with the survivors past disasters. Apart from senior government officials, diplomatic community, representative of UN, INGOs and NGOs, citizen of twin city of Rawalpindi and Islamabad participated in the event in a large number.

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