The National Disaster Management Authority or NDMA organized a parliamentarian caucus in collaboration with the ministries of national food security and climate change on disaster risk management.
Participants from across the political divide, including senators, members of the National Assembly and provincial assemblies, officials of international agencies, humanitarian networks and directors-general of Provincial Disaster Management Authorities or PDMAs participated in the caucus.
The caucus was aimed at highlighting the role of parliamentarians in disaster management. It also sought to promote dialogue on various aspects of disaster risk management, international frameworks, gender equality and child protection. It also emphasized upon the need for capacity-building of parliamentarians in supporting, promoting and implementing national agenda to build resilience.
Chairman NDMA Lt-Gen Akhtar Nawaz Satti welcomed the participants and in his opening remarks underscored the role of parliamentarians for disaster risk management.
“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 such as NDMA and make Pakistan a disaster-resilient country,” APP quoted him as saying.
Appreciating NDMA’s efforts, Minister of National Food Security Syed Fakher Imam said that the authority was providing parliamentarians a platform to initiate dialogue in this regard.
The federal minister said, “Climate change and natural calamities result in disasters and their impact becomes 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 needs and concerns of the land and people of respective areas.
Minister Energy Hammad Azhar on the occasion said that, “Over the past two decades, Pakistan has been facing various disasters. It is vital to have structured organizations like NDMA which could respond immediately”.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul praised the NDMA initiative, saying that, climate change was one of the most critical threats to global development and, “we must focus on long-term goals”.
She said that the ministry of climate change had successfully initiated several initiatives for adapting and mitigating the impact of climate change.
“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,” she maintained.
Parliamentarians actively participated in the caucus, suggesting ways and means to deal with disasters in an effective manner. This was the second parliamentarian caucus on the subject, the first was held in 2019, an APP report said.