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ISLAMABAD: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Thursday, predicted that the country may face serious flooding-related challenges in the next monsoon season.

It was revealed by the senior officials during the post-monsoon review conference 2021 organised by the NDMA. The conference was also attended by the concerned officials of the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC), The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), National Highways Authority (NHA), Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), and others.

Member operations NDMA presented an overall review of monsoon–2021 covering preparations, causalities, injuries, damages and lessons learnt. Officials from various departments made presentations and actively participated in question/ answer session and discussion.

Relevant departments were comparatively better prepared this year for monsoon. Climate change, resultant disaster threat, calls for timely and comprehensive measures by all concerned to mitigate and respond to challenges, likely to be posed by monsoon, the chairman NDMA highlighted, while chairing the conference.

The participants said that during past few years, monsoon rains were causing serious situation in urban areas, therefore, it was the need of the hour for the relevant departments to take precautionary measures before the arrival of offset of the monsoon season. Dealing with urban flooding in Karachi like big cities is emerging as a serious challenge, to effectively deal with it close cooperation between all the federal and provincial agencies is must, they pointed out.

Meanwhile, in a meeting of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) held here the participants hailed the role of the fund in dealing with the situation erupted after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Post declaration of National Health Emergency of public concern in March 2020, NDRMF, being the lead institution and financial intermediary, mandated for enhancing resilience of the country against disasters, extended grant financing worth $50 million to the government of Pakistan with an objective to minimise the impact of Covid-19.

The provisions were made through strict compliances, strenuous project appraisal along with transparent fund disbursement mechanism.

The pandemic’s outbreak warranted high level of preparedness along with strengthening the health system of the country for which NDRMF extended immediate support for provision of most essential health and diagnostic medical equipment for infection prevention and control of Covid-19 pandemic.

These timely provisions of most-needed requirements, supported in capacitating the government to act swiftly to control the pandemic resulting in making Pakistan one of the most effective countries to respond to the pandemic’s outbreak.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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