National Disaster Management Authority organized a second parliamentarian caucus in collaboration with the Ministry of National Food Security & Research, Ministry of Climate Change on disaster risk management, and its humanitarian partner International Rescue Committee (IRC), in Pakistan.
The caucus aimed to highlight the role of parliamentarians in disaster management and stimulate understanding and develop a conversation on a variety of topics including catastrophe risk management, international frameworks, gender equality, and child protection. The caucus attended across the party lines including senators, members of national and provincial assemblies, officials from international agencies, humanitarian networks, and Director Generals of Provincial Disaster Management Authorities, also emphasized on Parliamentarians’ capacity building in supporting, advocating, and executing national resilience agendas.
Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz, Chairman of the NDMA, welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of parliamentarians in disaster risk management in his opening remarks. “People of Pakistan have always faced disasters with courage and resilience. We need national resolve, political commitment, and institutional determination to make the country resilient, build the capacity of departments like NDMA and its humanitarian partner IRC and make Pakistan a disaster-resilient country”, he added.
Chief Guest Syed Fakher Imam on the occasion, lauded the collaborated efforts of NDMA and its humanitarian partner IRC for creating a platform for parliamentarians to initiate a dialogue on disaster risk management. The federal minister said that “Climate change and natural calamities result in disasters and their impact becomes an acute threat to sustainable development and peaceful co-existence, if we fail to respond to these challenges with an understanding and collectively as a mission”. He further added; elected representatives are key to strengthening disaster risk governance by voicing the needs and concerns of the land and people of respective areas.
Hammad Azhar Minister Energy on the occasion expressed that “Since past two decades Pakistan has been facing various kinds of disasters. Need of the hour was to have structured organizations like NDMA and its humanitarian partner IRC who could respond immediately. Climate change is not going away, unfortunately, these disasters are always around the corner, we need to learn from the past disasters and prepare for the future, but other than resources we need effective management and coordination to deal with the disasters”.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul commended the initiative by IRC and NDMA and voiced on the Caucus that, “Climate change stands today as one of the most critical threats to global development and we must focus on long term goals. The Ministry of climate change has successfully undertaken numerous initiatives for climate change adaptation and mitigation. While appreciating the presence of parliamentarians she said that “I am confident after seeing this gathering here today, aiming to be aware and cautious for safe and resilient future of Pakistan that will enable the country to prepare in the face of any catastrophe.