10 projects approved for disaster risk reduction

ISLAMABAD: The Board of Directors of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) has approved 10 projects for disaster risk reduction at a cost of Rs4.9 billion, including a grant financing of Rs3.6bn.

A meeting of the board presided over by Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch here on Monday was attended by Asian Deve­lo­pment Bank’s Country Dir­e­ctor Ms Xiaohong Yang, Additional Secretary Eco­n­o­mic Affairs Zulfiqar Hai­der Khan, Secretary Cli­mate Change Hassan Nasir Jamy and NDRMF’s Chief Executive Officer retired Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed.

An official statement said these projects will be implemented by the irrigation de­­partments of Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan, the Provin­cial Disaster Management Authority, Sindh, the Com­m­­­unication and Works Dep­artment of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Rescue 1122 Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan Me­­­teorological Depart­m­e­­nt, Pakistan Poverty Alle­v­iation Fund and Muslim Aid Pakistan.

The projects include activities related to Flood Protection Works, Tsunami & Earthquake Early Warn­ing System, Landslide Cont­rol Management, Emerg­e­n­­cy Response Services, Weat­her Radar System, Drought Mitigation and Community-based Disaster Risk Management.

Rs4.9bn plans aim to protect vulnerable communities

The total cost of the appr­oved projects is estimated at Rs4.925bn out of which the NDRMF shall finance Rs3.606bn (73.23pc) through a grant whereas the remaining 26.77pc contribution, amounting to Rs1.318bn shall be made available by the respective government and non-government entities. The projects are anticipated to protect vulnerable communities while enhancing Pakistan’s resilience to natural and climatic hazards.

The fund has already approved about Rs2.5bn worth of disaster risk reduction schemes early this year, making total new projects launched this year to over Rs7.5bn.

Those projects are in early stages of implementation by the National Disas­ter Management Authority, Punjab Irrigation Depar­tm­ent, Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Islamic Relief Pak­is­tan and a joint venture of Aga Khan Foundation and Aga Khan Planning & Buil­ding Services. These projects also focused on disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

The NDRMF has been created with the support of international lending agencies with major support from the ADB to help authorities build resilient infrastructure for reducing socio-economic and fiscal vulnerability of the country and its population to natural hazards and climate change, through financing investments in disaster risk reduction and preparedness that have high economic impacts.