ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday while chairing the fifth meeting of National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC) here at the PM office approved the Pakistan School Safety Framework. The framework intends to serve as a model for all provinces to ensure safety and disaster risk reduction.
During the meeting, Abbasi said that fine-tune disaster management strategies should be developed by keeping experiences in the past, as well as, putting an efficient and effective mechanism in line with best international practices in place.
The prime minister stated that climate change in addition to various contributing factors has resulted in a higher frequency of disasters which meant that a higher level of preparedness and an institutional response was the need of the hour.
The meeting also approved a proposal for the formulation of a cohesive disaster management legislation and institutional framework through merger, nullifying or reconfiguring the existing laws and organizations tied to disaster management.
Progress on decisions of the previous NDMC meetings was reviewed, various proposals for NDMA’s capacity enhancement were discussed and an ex-post facto approval was granted to the NDMC for compensation of Rs 104.20 million to the affectees of firing at the Line of Control (LoC). Additionally, relief/aid provided to friendly countries during multiple disasters was agreed on during the meeting.
In was further decided that the NDMA would now be placed under the PM’s office in a bid to overcome bureaucratic delays and improve efficiency and effectiveness of the commission.
Another important decision was to create a model National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) at the federal capital level as a pilot project. This would be done with the help of human resource at organisations dealing with disaster and relief management.
The meeting also decided to strengthen the Interior Ministry’s aviation wing for the purpose of aiding the NDMA with aviation support during its rescue and relief efforts.
Towards the end of the meeting, an overview of disaster management context of the country, the evolution of disaster management authority, achievements made to date, the challenges faced by NDMA while responding to emergency situations, taking measures for disaster risk reduction and effective response mechanism was presented by NDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Omar Mahmood Hayat
The meeting was attended by Azad Jammu Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister (CM) Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman.
Others who attended the meeting included Leader of Opposition in Senate Sherry Rehman, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan, National Food Security and Research Minister Sikandar Hayat Bosan, SAFRON Minister Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Minister for Water Resources Syed Javed Ali Shah and Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb.