Amid impacting climate crisis, collective responsibility important to avert impending disasters: Afridi

ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chairman, Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi Wednesday said climate change had cast its shadow on Pakistan, and it was collective responsibility to transform our attitudes and behaviours to avert the impending disasters. He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the first ever Pakistan Expo on Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR 2023) held here at Pak-China Friendship Center. This is Pakistan’s first ever Expo on disaster risk reduction which provides an opportunity to all stakeholders to Collaborate and Innovate for a resilient Pakistan. The Expo was inaugurated by the deputy chairman as chief guest on the occasion. The event will continue till 18th August and provide an opportunity for collaboration amongst National, International, Governmental and Non-Governmental organizations to pave way for a disaster resilient Pakistan. The Expo convened a gathering of experts, officials, and stakeholders converged at the heart of Pakistan’s capital city for the “Disaster Risk Reduction” Expo, organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF). In his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the expo, Mirza Afridi lauded the collective efforts to engage universities in disaster risk reduction measures. He underscored the pressing need for concrete and advanced technological measures to combat the ever-growing challenges posed by climate change and natural disasters. “Our response to the calamities that have shaken the world in recent years demands innovative solutions,” he emphasized. “The youth possess invaluable ideas that can guide our path towards disaster resilience, and it is imperative that we adapt and integrate their insights.” Acknowledging the essential role played by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Pakistan, the deputy chairman expressed his gratitude for their unyielding commitment to aiding calamity victims. “The tireless efforts of these NGOs provide a beacon of hope and support to those affected by various catastrophes,” he stated. The deputy chairman recognized the indomitable spirit of the NDMA team, praising their unwavering dedication even in the face of adversity. He reiterated the importance of collective support, asserting, “Every sector of society must rally behind the NDMA to fortify our nation against the impact of disasters.” Offering the expertise and guidance of the parliamentary body, Mirza Afridi affirmed, “The Senate is ready to provide the necessary guidance and collaboration that the NDMA requires.” He applauded the accomplishments of Chairman NDMA and his team, highlighting their commitment to safeguarding lives and communities. The deputy chairman drew attention to the cascading effects of disasters on infrastructure, citing the breakdown of roads, bridges, and communication channels. He paid tributes to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while aiding others during natural calamities. He underscored the necessity to prepare for and mitigate the challenges posed by climate-induced disasters. The “Disaster Risk Reduction” Expo, organised by NDMA and graced by the presence of Deputy Chairman Senate Mirza Muhammad Afridi, stands as a resolute testament to Pakistan’s commitment to forge a path of resilience, adaptability, and unity in the face of mounting challenges. Chairman National Disaster Management, Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik, CEO NDRMF, Bilal Anwar, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan, Julien Harneis and others participated the inaugural session.

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