Strengthening Local and National Capacities for Emergency Preparedness and Response in Turkmenistan
Ashgabat, 13 July 2023 - With almost all types of natural hazards present, the countries of Central Asia have a history of recurrent natural disasters that have caused significant economic and human loss. Earthquakes are the most destructive, causing losses of human life and damage to infrastructure, as was witnessed in recent events in Turkiye. The need to systematically reduce the increased impact of disasters is gaining recognition and commitment due to the impact of climate change, which has made it clear that there is a need to accelerate actions on disaster risk reduction, resilience, and climate change adaptation.
UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan is strengthening its local and national capacity for Emergency Preparedness and Response as a part of the regional programme ’Strengthening Local and National Capacities for Emergency Preparedness and Response in High Earthquake Risk and Natural Hazard Prone Countries of Central Asia’, funded by the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and is being implemented in all five Central Asian Countries.
In the framework of this programme, almost 1,000 schoolchildren, 400 administrators and teachers from 10 targeted schools, as well as more than 300 staff and volunteers of the National Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan (NRCST) in Ashgabat, Ahal, Dashoguz and Lebap velayats were engaged in a series of capacity strengthening interventions and simulation exercises organized by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education, and NRCST in May-July 2023. The activities included first aid and evacuation practices, strengthening capacities on climate change adaptation, the introduction of tools and mechanisms of accountability to the affected populations and updating disaster risk reduction management plans.
Within the framework of the same programme, UNICEF supported the capacity building of national partners in preparedness through shock responsive social protection systems and programmes. This support included a regional workshop in Almaty, and a national training on ‘Scaling Up Emergency Cash Transfers in Response to Crises’ in March and July 2023 with the participation of representatives of Ministry of Defence, Department of Emergency and Rescue Operations, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Ministry of Finance and the NRCST. In addition, UNICEF supported the Government of Turkmenistan in conducting the Readiness Assessment of the social protection system to emergencies, which included the readiness of Turkmenistan’s social protection system to provide cash assistance during emergencies to people affected by shocks and disasters.
The preliminary results of this assessment have been presented to the relevant partners as well as the potential opportunities and detailed recommendations (along policy, programmatic, systems, and related dimensions) for introducing the delivery of emergency cash transfers in Turkmenistan have been discussed.
About the programme: The USAID funded “Strengthening Local and National Capacities for Emergency Preparedness and Response in High Earthquake Risk and Natural Hazard Prone Countries of Central Asia” is implemented in five Central Asian countries. The programme is aimed to ensure joint preparedness and resilience focusing on strengthening capacities and enhancing preparedness and response to the earthquake in high-risk countries in Central Asia through the pre-positioning critical supplies, school and community-based risk reduction interventions at national level. The above activities are complimented by regional workshops as aimed at building capacities on humanitarian cash transfers, supply and procurement and gender in emergencies. The programme ensures that the children, teachers, parents, and community members, especially in disaster prone areas, are able to understand and manage risks, learn how to cope with various of emergencies like floods, landslides or earthquakes through engagement in school and community - level disaster preparedness processes. The USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) invested 1,650,000 USD for the two-year implementation of the programme in 5 Central Asian Countries.
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