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 UNDP supporting disaster risk management capacities in Akkar

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” the UNDP Disaster Risk Management project, in collaboration with Lebanese authorities, project partners and donors, have been working to build Lebanon’s capacities in the field of disaster risk management at the local level. In its newest steps, the UNDP DRM project at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers is supporting the establishment of Regional Operation Rooms (ROR) for crisis management in all Lebanese governorates. The ROR provides the place and the necessary equipment as well as communication system to effectively coordinate and manage response in case of disasters. On Thursday 4 August 2016 the opening of the Akkar Governote Operations Room took place followed by the first table top exercise simulating the scenario of a catastrophic forest fire for the Governorate’s DRM committee. This latest achievement was realized with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the European Union in Lebanon, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Lebanon, the German Embassy Beirut and the Government of Kuwait. This achievement is significantly important because Akkar is prone to several natural hazards, especially forest fires that can cause severe damage and negative consequences in an already vulnerable region. Therefore, the table top exercise was an opportunity to put into action the guidelines of the response plan drafted by the DRM committee at the Akkar Governorate with the support of the UNDP project and in line with the framework of the National Response Plan. Such table top exercises are part of the building capacities process that enables decision makers and technical teams to work together in harmony and effectively manage their responses to emergencies. Furthermore, simulations and table top exercises are the best way to determine the proficiency of the technical teams and the response plans and analyze their weaknesses and strength. In this regard the DRM committee headed by the Governor of Akkar Mr. Imad Labaki is composed of representatives of concerned ministries (Health, Social Affairs, Information, Finance and Public Works), Lebanese Army, ISF, Red Cross and Civil Defense. Every member is responsible to fulfill his responsibilities following the response plan and communicate information and decisions with his department. As part of their hands on approach, Chief Technical Advisor of Stabilization and Recovery Program at UNDP Mr. Tom Thorogood, Colonel Walid Chaar representing Major General Mohammad Kheir Secretary General of the Higher Council also participated in the tabletop exercise.

 

At the end of the exercise, Mr. Labaki thanked the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, UNDP representatives and all donor countries for their support and participation in this event as well as the Army, ISF and several ministries officials. He added, “We are very happy that this is the first operation room to be established in North Lebanon and we are willing to continue the work keeping the same momentum and acting as one team to reduce the risk of disasters in Akkar."

From his part Mr. Thorogood expressed his pride with the progress made in the last few years in implementing the National Response Plan despite the challenges Lebanon is going through.” He added “we are aware of the critical situation this region is facing at the moment and the numerous needs and vulnerabilities it suffers from. These vulnerabilities increase the risk of disasters. It is in this context that an equipped and ready to function operation room was established. In addition to a qualified and trained team that is well prepared to respond to the risk of disasters."   

Finally Colonel Chaar pointed out that these achievements could not have been  possible without the continuous support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) the European Union, the German embassy, the Lebanese Recovery Fund, the Kuwaiti and the Government of Netherland. He added “that with the support of our partners we will continue on our mission to make Lebanon resilient to disaster risk.”

Last Update Date:Date de mise à jour:آخر تحديث في تاريخ:8/16/2016 1:44 PM
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