Pakistan Advances Disaster Management System, Bolsters Resilience for Climate-Change Crises
Pakistan is taking significant strides to strengthen its disaster management system and build resilience in the face of climate change-induced crises. The country’s caretaker Prime Minister, Anwaarul Haq Kakar, emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to bolstering disaster management capabilities, enacting necessary legislation, promoting risk-aware governance, and establishing resilient infrastructure.
Speaking on the occasion of National Resilience Day observed on October 8, Prime Minister Kakar highlighted the transition from a reactive to a proactive approach in the country’s disaster management system. This strategic shift reflects a collective effort to respond more effectively to unforeseen crises. The Prime Minister expressed his belief that National Resilience Day would inspire a deeper understanding of disaster risk management and encourage the dissemination of essential messages related to readiness, resilience, fortitude, and self-sufficiency.
Previously, Pakistan’s focus had primarily been on reacting to emergencies after they occurred, leading to significant loss of life and property. However, with advancements in technology and a better understanding of natural phenomena, the country is embracing a proactive approach. As part of this transformation, a modern National Emergencies Operation Center (NEOC) has been established at the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The NEOC incorporates multiple satellite feeds, software, and Artificial Intelligence tools to strengthen digital risk assessment, early warning systems, and preparedness strategies.
The Prime Minister stressed the robust institutional structure for disaster management in the form of the NDMA and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs). He called for the strengthening of the disaster management system at the district level to serve as the implementing bodies of Disaster Risk Reduction policy and plans at the local level.
National Resilience Day serves as a solemn tribute to the indomitable spirit of the people of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir, who have borne the brunt of harrowing disasters. Pakistan, ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries according to the Climate Risk Index, has witnessed a series of natural catastrophes, including earthquakes, floods, glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), scorching heatwaves, and forest fires. These calamities have claimed countless lives and caused billions of dollars in infrastructural damage.
By raising awareness of the devastating impacts of climate change-induced disasters, National Resilience Day aims to emphasize the importance of disaster resilience. Last year, Pakistan faced unprecedented floods that severely affected Sindh and parts of Balochistan. The country witnessed widespread devastation, including the loss of precious lives, injuries, and destruction of crops and infrastructure. The federal and provincial governments worked together in a unified effort to rescue and provide relief to the affected citizens.
Prime Minister Kakar called for a shared vision of a stronger and more resilient Pakistan. The emphasis lies in weathering the storm and emerging stronger and more united than ever before. The proactive approach to disaster management, coupled with the government’s commitment, will play a crucial role in building a resilient nation that can effectively tackle climate change-induced crises.