ISLAMABAD: The National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC) is set to hold a crucial meeting in Islamabad on Thursday to assess the needs of the flood-affected population across the country in order to prepare a ‘coordinated’ rehabilitation plan.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has convened the meeting, which will ‘reconcile’ need assessments prepared by different federal agencies and provincial authorities separately.
The meeting was called amid reports that an ‘unprofessional lack of coordination’ between the federal and provincial authorities was hampering relief activities and leaving the flood affected people at the mercy of nature.
The meeting will be chaired by the PM and will be attended by the chief executives of all four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, as well as the heads of all official relief agencies including the National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMA) and its provincial arms.
NDMA chief Lt Gen (Retd) Nadeem Ahmed is expected to brief the country’s top political leaders on the damages caused by the worst flooding in the country’s history and the official efforts made so far for rehabilitation.
Although the actual need assessment will be done by international agencies, including the World Bank (WB), the meeting is expected to prepare a plan for an immediate response once the water recedes. The decision to convene all the provinces and relief agencies was taken at a meeting here on Tuesday with premier Gilani in the chair.
The PM observed that close coordination and better understanding among the federal and the provincial governments will greatly facilitate in streamlining the relief and rehabilitation efforts.
It will also help in making an exact assessment of available resources and needs of the flood victims, Gilani said at the meeting.
The PM reiterated that a joint strategy is the need of the hour to effectively confront the challenges of relief and rehabilitations.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Minister of Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Law Minister Babar Awan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2010.
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