South Sudan joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Day for Disaster Reduction

Oct 13, 2015

Group photo at Nyakuron Cultural Center in Juba

Juba, October 13, 2015: The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today joined the rest of the world in commemorating International Day for Disaster Reduction, observed annually on October 13.

Observed at Nyakuron Cultural Center and presided by the guest of honor, Hon. Lawrence Korbandi, Presidential Advisor for Legal Affairs, the theme of this year’s commemoration was Knowledge for Life: “Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Risk Management”. The vent focused on raising awareness on how communities can use their traditional and indigenous knowledge and practices in disaster risk management to complement scientific knowledge.

In his closing remarks, Hon. Korbandi, acknowledged that natural and human induced disaster are not new to South Sudan; floods, droughts, conflicts, human and livestock epidemics are common. He said the effects of these disasters are often severe due to the lack of an early warning system, lack of preparedness and absence of information systems; as well as poor infrastructure and inadequate human and financial material resources to respond to emergencies. He said: “The social-economic consequences of these disasters often overwhelm available resources including those from the international community.”

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the people and Government of Japan for recognizing the dire needs of the vulnerable people of South Sudan by providing 4.8 million dollars to alleviate suffering of floods victims in South Sudan, and to UNDP, for forging a meaningful partnership with the Ministry through the implementation of the Food Security, Emergency Flood Response and Recovery project,” Hon. Korbandi concluded.

Meanwhile, H.E. Shigeru Hamano, Deputy Chief of Mission in the Japanese Embassy, lauded the partnership between Japan and the Government of South Sudan through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. He stressed the commitment of the Government and people of Japan to supporting disaster preparedness and resilience building efforts in South Sudan.

Aligned with the needs of South Sudan, the Government of Japan is funding a project to strengthen national and local institutions as well as community capacity to respond to floods and food insecurity in five states across the country.

Addressing the occasion, UNDP Country Director, Balazs Horvath, stated that: “natural disasters and climate change induced impacts are on the rise at an unprecedented scale. South Sudan is also prone to natural disasters and weather events such as flooding and droughts.” He explained that economic losses and social impacts resulting from disasters can be greatly reduced through innovative national policies and programming, early warning and rapid response systems in all high risk areas, and integrating disaster risk reduction approach in to humanitarian assistance and development programs. “An enabling policy environment for disaster risk reduction, put in practice at various levels, is key. Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction is the most cost effective investment when compared with recurrent emergency relief responses,” he added.

The United Nations General Assembly approved the International Day for Disaster Reduction as a calendar activity in 1989 and has adopted specialized areas of focus each year, as part of efforts to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

Contact information

Tabani Joseph, Communications Analyst, joseph.tabani@undp.org - Cel.: +211 955 314 795

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