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20.12.2006 General News

Disaster risk reduction is crucial for attainment of MDGs

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Accra - For the nation to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there is the need to factor disaster risk reduction into the socio-economic policies, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of The Interior, said on Tuesday.

He said in a speech read on his behalf at the end of year joint meeting of National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and Technical Advisory Committees that this required collective efforts and combined knowledge of all citizens.

Mr Kan-Dapaah, whose speech was read by Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Deputy Minister of The Interior, said the Government had the primary responsibility to provide protection for its people and to ensure that the livelihood of people was not wiped out by disasters. He said it would require a strong political and financial commitment by the Government for the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into development policies, planning and programmes. Disaster risk reduction was so complex that no single Government Ministry could handle it, hence the need to launch national platforms to bring all agencies, organisations and institutions on board. Mr Kan-Dapaah the Government would support NADMO to create the enabling environment for a successful disaster risk reduction and charged the Committees to come up with strategies that could propel the programme.

Mr George Isaac Amoo, National Coordinator of NADMO, said even though man might not be able to prevent natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and floods, action could be taken to prevent disastrous effects on vulnerable communities. He said for the past 10 years, the world had suffered an increasing number of natural disasters affecting more than 2.5 billion people and causing economic losses of about 690 billion dollars. Mr Amoo said the mission of NADMO was to manage disasters by coordinating the resources of Government institutions and developing the capacity of voluntary community-based organisations to respond effectively to emergencies.

The National Technical Advisory Committees of NADMO are responsible for initiating technical strategies and advice for the effective and efficient mitigation and, where possible, prevention of disasters. Members are drawn from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Universities, Non-Governmental Organisations and individuals with the requisite expertise.

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