ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: An 11-member United States Army Central (USARCENT) delegation led by the Deputy Command General Major General Wendul Glenn Hagler has arrived in Islamabad for taking part in a four-day interactive session with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) officials and relevant stake holders dealing with Disaster Management (DM).
The sessions are aimed to acquire knowledge from each other’s experiences, find common zones for future shared cooperation and to work out modalities for training Pakistani disaster management officials through FEMA, academia exchange program and sharing of latest technology-driven software/products to forecast changing weather conditions to plan well ahead of disasters.
After welcoming remarks by the Chairman NDMA Lt. General Inam Haider Malik, the delegation was briefed about the devastating effects of Floods 2022, Pakistan experienced owing to unprecedented rainfall patterns.
The NDMA brief also identified the shortfalls in DM system of Pakistan based on the lessons learnt during the calamites faced by the Country in 2022 and indicated areas where possible US cooperation is urgently required.
During the discussion the Chairman informed the house about reshaping of NEOC and shift from reactive to proactive mode.
“There is a dire need for midcourse discussion over redefining the SDG goals owing to its limited achievement, as climate change is not restricted to one country but the whole globe is being affected,” he further suggested.
While mentioning the role of INGOs/NGOs & DM Partners, he stressed upon imminent requirement to align/coordinate their activities as per requirements of vulnerable areas/people to evade replication of efforts and resource.
The NDMA with remodeled approach is now focusing primarily on fore-warning of weather patterns resulting in disasters, creating a common operating picture predicting hazards months in advance and incorporating National/Regional universities through National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) to create a research-based think tank.
The Chairman also raised questions whether there is possibility to work on global climate stress reversal and replacement of disaster risk reduction (DRR) with Disaster Risk Elimination (DRE).
The Deputy Commanding General Maj General Hagler offered condolence over the loss of lives in floods 2022 and appreciated efforts of Pakistan for remodeling of disaster management system while incorporating the vulnerable.
The team USARCENT assured of possible cooperation with NDMA on the latest lines as the developed world is practicing.
Later at the day, SUPARCO & MoPD&SI, USACE & PMD furnished the session on Post-flood Damages Need Assessment, Reconstruction Efforts and Satellite-based Inundation & Damages Assessment, Past USACE involvement in Pak and Overview of outlook for upcoming season and forecasting capabilities respectively.
Officials from MoFA, MoI, Pak Army, MoPD&SI, ODRP, FFC, PMD/ FFD, SUPARCO, WAPDA, Emergency Services Academy 1122 also attended the session.
The sessions will continue for the subsequent two days with active participation of USARCENT & Pakistan DM teams to further deliberate upon matters related to Pakistan Hazard’s & Vulnerabilities, NDMA’s Role in Integrating International Assistance, Search and Rescue Capacity of Pak USAR Rescue Team.