Workshop concludes: SAARC members pledge support to tackle disasters

Experts stress need to devise collective strategy for effective disaster management

Our Correspondent February 23, 2018

LAHORE: The first South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Rescue Challenge and Workshop on Rescue 1122 Emergency Services Reforms in Pakistan concluded on Thursday.

The challenge and workshop was organised at Rescue 1122 Headquarters in Thokar Niaz Baig.

Delegates from different countries passed a resolution to work for safe, sustainable urban development and continue working for regional cooperation to tackle commonly faced problems, including disasters like earthquakes and floods in the region.

The participating delegates from SAARC member state included Fire Service and Civil Defence Training Director Muhammad Ali and Administration & Finance Director from Bangladesh Daleep Kumar Ghose.

Provincial Minister for Disaster Management Mehar Ijaz Ahmed Achlana was the chief guest while other officials also participated in the ceremony.

While sharing the country’s profile and situation of disaster management in Bangladesh, Muhammad Ali said that Fire Service & Civil Defence improved significantly.

“Over 300 rivers have put a huge burden on disaster response services in Bangladesh,” he added.

Accordingly, flood management had become a necessary component of civil & military disaster response authorities. He, however, said that Bangladesh sought advanced training in flood, rescue and disaster management from developed countries and from Pakistan. Dr Rizwan Naseer said Pakistan had established a model of integrated modern emergency ambulance, rescue and fire services after undertaking emergency services reforms. “Currently, we are very pleased to announce that a modern emergency service infrastructure is in place in all districts of Punjab and other provinces and now we are in a position to share best practices with other SAARC member countries so that citizens could be provided the basic right of timely emergency care without discrimination.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2018.

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