A joint disaster risk reduction initiative to safeguard the lives of the children of Turkmenistan
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 13 July 2012 – Today, the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) initiative has been jointly launched by the Government of Turkmenistan and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support national efforts in enhancing emergency preparedness and response capacity. A specially established Intersectoral Working Group represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Nature Protection, National Red Crescent Society with support of UNICEF, International Organization for Migration and the Europa House met to discuss mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into national development cooperation agenda along with a robust intersectoral implementation plan.
The Disaster Risk Reduction initiative funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid –ECHO (DIPECHO 7) is being implemented in all Central Asian countries, which are at risk of natural disasters such as earthquake, flood, drought and others. The evidence suggests that integrated disaster risk reduction strategies effectively alleviate the impact of potential hazards, ensure preparedness, and maintain support of early warning systems. The DRR takes a people-centered approach by enhancing capacities of population, especially of women and children to better prepare for, mitigate and respond adequately to natural disasters. An effective cooperation between citizens, civil society and local government authorities is also at the core to achieve the sustainable results of the initiative.
During the meeting participants discussed the ways to integrate DRR component into national education policies and strategies, thereby contributing to building a culture of safety and resilience at all levels. Ms. Cynthia Koons, UNICEF international expert in Education in Emergencies and DRR highlighted the global tools for maintaining a minimum level of educational quality and access in emergencies through to recovery, which are based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Education for All and Humanitarian Charter representing ‘universal goals for helping adults and children achieve the right to life with dignity’.
As one of the main focuses of the DRR initiative will be directed towards improvement of secondary schools’ capacity to undertake disaster preparedness and risk reduction, as well as enhancing their resilience to potential disasters, a wide range of interventions has been planned for the upcoming two years. This includes the revision of the school curriculum with an integrated DRR component, introduction of the ‘safe schools’ minimum standards, building the capacity of the national education system for contingency planning and response.
The current DRR initiative strongly resonates with the priorities reflected in the “The Future We Want: Outcome Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development” adopted in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, where Turkmenistan was present at the highest political level.
For more information please contact:
Mr. Jepbar Byashimov
UNICEF Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Officer
Ms. Ayna Seyitlieva
UNICEF Communication for Development Officer
Phone: +99312 425681/82/85/86
Fax: +99312 425779