Policy makers, political leaders, and public service officials met in South Sudan on Tuesday to discuss disaster risk reduction and its linkages with sustainable development and community resilience building. Presidential Advisor for Economic Affairs H.E. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Hon. Hussein Mar Nyuot, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Mr. Peter Gatwech Kulan, Chargé d’Affaires from the Embassy of Japan H.E. Hamano Shigeru, and UNDP led discussions on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction across government planning and in the policies and programmes of line ministries including health, education, agriculture and infrastructure.
The summit brought together political leaders, public service officials and development partners to focus on implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030).
“Disaster is not a punishment from God that we cannot do something about it,” said H.E. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, continuing that as a sovereign nation, South Sudan must be prepared to face and address disasters as they occur. He explained that the Sendai Framework is relevant for adoption at continental, regional and country levels, adding that “what we need in South Sudan is the adoption and domestication of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.”
In South Sudan, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management (MHADM) has been engaged in all global and regional disaster risk management initiatives. At the occasion, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Hon. Hussein Mar Nyuot further urged government line institutions and development partners in the country to closely collaborate to make South Sudan meet its obligations.
UNDP globally has supported more than a hundred countries to implement the Hyogo Framework, which was the predecessor to the Sendai Framework of Action and to assist countries in adapting to climate change. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) was adopted at the 3rd Global Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015.
“This historic policy-making initiative seeks to look beyond short term humanitarian assistance and lead a paradigm shift from relief to development while addressing the root causes of vulnerability and future risks of disasters,” said Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Eugene Owusu. “Global experience teaches us that countries which invest in building the right institutional frameworks and capacities are the ones which demonstrate long lasting and sustainable development impacts.”
Mr. Owusu further emphasized UNDP’s readiness, as the lead UN agency on disaster risk reduction, to answer the call of implementation of the Sendai Framework in South Sudan. He also said UNDP will continue to partner with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to prepare smart and innovative disaster management programmes, including the setting up of climate early warning systems.
In his opening remarks, Representative of the Embassy of Japan in Juba H.E. Mr. Shigeru Hamano, Charge d’Affaires, stated that every member of the international community shares the responsibility of disaster risk reduction. He said Japan is committed to work with the international community, including UNDP, in helping the government and people of South Sudan in disaster risk reduction. “I would like to reiterate the commitment of my government to work with the government and people of South Sudan not only to combat natural disasters but also to bring about sustainable development,” Mr. Shigeru emphasized.
In order to proceed for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Action, the African Working Groups on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and designated ministers for disaster risk reduction met in Yaoundé, Cameroon and in Mauritius following the Sendai meeting and updated the African Action Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).