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Gov’t launches national platform for disaster risk reduction

By James Atem Kuir

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management [MHADM] with partners have established a multi-stakeholder forum platform for the disaster risks reduction called National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction [NPDRR].

The launching of the forum brought together a number of stakeholders from Line Ministries, national and international organizations as well as other key policy makers in a workshop conducted in Juba yesterday.

While addressing the participants at the event, the undersecretary of Ministry of Gender Child and Social Welfare, Esther Ikere said that the establishment of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is an important milestone in the development in addressing the humanitarian crisis.

“There are three milestones that need to be acknowledged in terms of fulfilling the mandate of the ministry; one of them is the development of disaster risk management policy, the second is the South Sudan disaster reduction strategy and today we are launching the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, this is a milestone,” she said.

She further urged all stakeholders to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to reduce vulnerability through social protection.

Meanwhile, the undersecretary in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster, Gatwech Peter Kulang said that the NPDRR will build community resilience to better prepare and manage hazards.

“The vision of South Sudan National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction policy is to build community resilience to manage, to be well prepared and reduce impacts of the hazards they face when they happen, “he said.

 He appreciated the collaboration of Line Ministries and partners in addressing issues of risks as a result of disasters.

However, the senior program adviser for United Nations Development Program [UNDP] Jose Manzano Bong revealed that the humanitarian situation in South Sudan remains fragile in light of the current flooding and the covid-19 pandemic.

“In South Sudan, we remain in a fragile state and more efforts continue to be undertaken in order to reduce our vulnerability. There is need for us to change the narrative, it is simply not sustainable to continue to be reactive and drive into emergency response more each time a disaster loom. What we must do is shift to a proactive disaster risk management approach. We need earlier warning; we need a more robust knowledge and information sharing mechanism. We need a clear plan of action and we need to have a well-coordinated action,” said Bongo.

The new advocacy platform is expected to coordinate and share information and action among humanitarian stakeholders.

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