Launch of “The National Communication Strategy for Raising Societal Awareness in the Area of Risk Reduction and Crisis Management”
Cairo, 27 May 2010 - The first national communication strategy which would effectively and efficiently manage crisis and reduce risks in times of emergencies, was launched by The Egyptian Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The strategy titled “The National Communication Strategy for Raising Societal Awareness in the Area of Risk Reduction and Crisis Management,” aims to equip Egypt with a framework and a set of action plans to provide the most vulnerable groups of the society with timely and appropriate information during emergencies.
The devastation of disasters can be prevented by risk reduction and crisis management initiatives “While many know that human tragedies and losses, as a result of a disaster, impede the economy, few know that the devastation of disasters can be prevented by risk reduction and crisis management initiatives. And the Egyptian government believes in the importance of raising societal awareness in risk reduction, therefore it has taken serious steps that would significantly contribute to the reduction of disasters, and has committed itself to implement the "Hyogo Framework for Action," which supports the efforts of States and communities to become more capable and better equipped to deal with emergencies that threaten the developmental gains,” said Dr Magued Osman – Chairman of IDSC.
Through engaging different governmental bodies, civic society and the media the strategy will improve preparedness in Egypt to face and respond to all emergencies, with a special focus on: pandemics, earthquakes as the primary potential natural disaster, and man-made disasters such as fires.
“UNICEF works closely with the Egyptian government and a wide range of partners to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable groups: in the case of emergencies, those are usually: women and children. They are the most exposed to disease, malnutrition and violence. We hope that this communication strategy will provide the needed information and support to communities in order to enable them to be prepared before, after and during any potential emergency,” said Dr. Erma Manoncourt during the launch ceremony.
The strategy also aims to make disaster risk reduction a national priorityThe strategy, also aims to make disaster risk reduction a national priority, enhance the participation and cooperation between different ministries and government bodies, such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Awqaf.
Although Egypt may be described as a relatively stable country, nevertheless some of the most recent global and local emergencies have paced thousands of Egyptian families at great risks, such as the emergence of the Avian and Pandemic Influenza in 2006 and 2009, the Duwekah’s rockslide in September 2008 and the rain-induced floods in January 2010.