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Uzbek women and children to be better protected from disasters

© UNICEF / Uzbekistan / Aseal / 2008
Mr. Mahboob Shareef, UNICEF Representative (right) and Mr. Khakimjon Abdulazizov, Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations (left) stand alongside a new minivan fleet for the Ministry of Emergency situations handed over by UNICEF

UNICEF, Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Emergency situations (MoES) with financial support from the European Commissions (EC) department of humanitarian aid are protecting the most vulnerable people from natural and man-made disasters where they need it most; in schools, kindergartens, clinics and in their communities.

Women and children are the most vulnerable in any disaster. We are helping people help themselves in some of the most remote communities and are boosting the Governments’ solid disaster preparedness plans’ said Mahboob Shareef, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan.

The work to prepare for and respond to disasters began in April 2007 and a formal Memorandum of Understanding was signed between UNICEF and the MoES in May 2008..The EC’s humanitarian aid department is supporting the project through its Disaster Preparedness in Central Asia (DIPECHO V) Programme for the period of October 2008 – December 2009. The total budget is nearly 340,000 Euros.

Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency saves lives, A key project element is teaching tried and tested disaster drills to vulnerable communities that are based on solid risk assessments and planning. Project staff are working closely with the national and regional governments to meet these aims.

The programme also brings together Government emergency, education, health departments, community leaders and activists for in service training. Training is being administered through a network of regional training centre’s... 

Global initiative


Uzbekistan’s efforts are part of the international strategy for disaster risk reduction that was agreed in the shadow of the Indian Ocean tsunami in January 2005 and major earthquake in Kobe, Japan. The global Hyogo Framework for 2005-15 promotes beefing up National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction and national disaster preparedness plans, supporting emergency, health and education departments and lights the way for the projects work.

New kit to save lives

UNICEF recently handed over nine minivans to the Civil Protection Training Centers of Nine Regional Departments of MoES. These follow a full set of training equipment delivered earlier. Getting the right kit to the frontline response agency, the Ministry of Emergency Situations is crucial in preparing for disasters to minimize the impact on children.

Speaking at the ceremony to mark the handing over, UNICEF Representative Mahboob Shareef said the vans would ‘help save lives by making sure the trainers reach their audiences, the most vulnerable people.’  

Mr. Khakimjon Abdulazizov, Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations gave a presentation on achievements on the joint Project and its impact in schools, kindergartens, and makhallas to date. The focus, he said, was training specialists from 36 kindergartens and 220 schools, 36 rural medical centers and over 300 representatives of regional and district hospitals in six pilot provinces.

UNICEF and the MoES reiterated their solid commitment to putting the pieces in place to save lives in disasters and to further raise public awareness on the issue by introducing sound disaster risk management mechanisms aimed at the disaster prevention focusing on women and children during the period of 2010-2015 under the new joint Country Programme of Cooperation.



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