Pakistan has high exposure to flooding, including flash, urban coastal, and tropical cyclones and droughts.

Pakistan has some of the highest disaster risk levels in the world, ranked 11 out of 193 countries by the 2023 World Risk Report. Pakistan also has high exposure to flooding, including flash, urban coastal, tropical cyclones, and droughts. Disaster risk in Pakistan is further exacerbated by its social vulnerability (37 out of 191), which is driven by its high rates of multidimensional poverty.

In an attempt to address these challenges, The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have formalised their commitment to enhancing resilience in Pakistan through a Letter of Understanding (LOU) signed on 16 April 2024 at the IRC Pakistan office. This initiative marks a significant collaboration between NDMA, Pakistan’s leading disaster management authority, and IRC, a global humanitarian organization.

The scope of this collaboration encompasses joint efforts in strengthening Community-Based Disaster Risk Management/Reduction models, creating a toolkit of best practices and the outlook for anticipatory actions. This includes consultations on innovative programs and stakeholder engagement for strengthening resilience in communities, civil society organisations (CSOs), and other local institutions. The partnership involves extending technical assistance for developing Multi-Sectoral resilience-building initiatives through capacity-building sessions for stakeholders and technical support for the robust functioning of the National Emergency Command and Operation Center (NEOC).

In policy advocacy, NDMA and IRC will collaborate on providing technical support to academic working groups focusing on Disaster Management, Preparedness, and Resilience, building upon evidence-based research analysing existing policy frameworks and alignment with ongoing multi-sectoral climate adaptive efforts. Both entities will jointly host engagements to disseminate findings and learnings with relevant stakeholders nationally and provincially.

In his remarks, Chairman NDMA informed that NDMA’s NEOC shared a comprehensive outlook on potential hazards and emergencies expected in the next six months. This crucial information is a foundation for these organisations to effectively strategise and outline their response plans, ensuring readiness and swift action in the face of adversity. He called for the incorporation of anticipatory actions for resilient interventions in humanitarian organisations’ annual plans.

In a joint statement, Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik (Chairman NDMA) and Ms. Shabnam Baloch, Country Director (IRC-Pakistan), conveyed their commitment to the newly formed partnership. They stressed the critical significance of collaborative initiatives, tackling the multifaceted challenges presented by climate change and natural disasters, specifically within the context of Pakistan. Lt. Gen Inam and Ms Baloch expressed their resolve to advance the resilience agenda through tri-party partnerships involving relevant state institutions, civil society, and community voices in decision-making processes.

Through this partnership, NDMA and IRC are committed to sharing learning resources, technical expertise, and efforts to address the impacts of climate change and disasters. Their collaborative endeavours aim to foster a more resilient society in Pakistan, ensuring better preparedness and response mechanisms for future challenges.

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