Karachi: As part of efforts to boost emergency preparedness and capacity to deal with disasters, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today handed over a mini-van and a Flospan warehouse to Pir Bakhsh Jamali, Director General of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh. Dr. Zafar Qadir, Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), senior government representatives, Carl Paulsson, Head of Programme, WFP Pakistan and Irfan Malik, Head of Programme, Sindh were also present on the occasion.
While further handing over the keys to DG PDMA, the Chairman NDMA, Dr. Zafar Qadir thanked WFP for their technical and material support and said “WFP’s response in the wake of man-made as well as natural disasters in Pakistan is much appreciated and we assure UN system agencies of government’s support and cooperation at all levels.” WFP, co-chairs Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Steering Committee, is working closely with NDMA to build the capacities of the affiliated institutions so as to respond more effectively respond. Overall, equipment worth 8.6 million rupees has been procured for Sindh.
“WFP has been more than a partner to us, they have not only provided food in the relief camps during floods but building additional capacity of the PDMA by providing storage warehouse, van for search and rescue operation and VSAT for communication is much appreciated. This will enable us to cope well with the upcoming disasters.” said Pir Bakhsh Jamali, DG PDMA Sindh while receiving the keys of mini-van.
WFP has provided a warehouse with a capacity of 500 metric tons to stockpile food and non-food supplies to meet emergency needs. A VSAT satellite communications system has been imported for the mobile response team of PDMA Sindh. The mini-van will help Search and Rescue teams of Karachi City Council.
“We are working closely with NDMA and PDMAs to make sure that these institutions have enough capacity and equipment to respond in emergency situations like floods or earthquakes,” said Carl Paulsson, Head of Programme of WFP Pakistan.
WFP has also been organizing “school safety programmes” for five districts of Sindh, which include Thatta, Dadu, Tharparkar, Jaccobabad and Shahdadkot and Community Based Disaster Risk Management activities are also planned in these districts. WFP is also in the process of procuring 10 more warehouses, each with 300 metric tons capacity, for 10 hazard-prone districts, out of which two will be installed in two priority districts in Sindh province.
“WFP is also buying 20 speed boats to boost preparedness in the flood-prone districts across Pakistan. Of these, seven will be allocated to Sindh. We will work out with the NDMA how these boats will be used”, Paulsson added.
WFP has developed community-based drought early warning system for Tharparkar district, whose forecasts for the 2009 and 2010 monsoon rainy seasons were roughly accurate. Data is being collected regarding the current season.
For more information, contact:
World Food Programme (WFP) – Pakistan
Phone: +9251-8312000 Ext. 2270
Mobile Phone: +92-300-8500989
Satellite Phone: Fax: +9251-2855857/2851870