REGIONAL CONSULTATION EPORT“Engaging SAARC for Disaster Resilience”Organized by Oxfam and NDMA at Islamabad Club, Islamabad(1-2 November 2012)
Report by: Amjad Nazeer
DAY ONEI - Inaugural Session:
The workshop began with the recitation from the Holy Quran. While delivering welcomeaddress Cherian Mathews, Deputy Regional Director, Oxfam GB, thanked eminentparticipants from all the South Asian countries that mainly included the government, civilsociety, academic and media representatives.
Opening Remarks by Dr. Zafar Qadir Chairman NDMA, Pakistan:
Welcoming the participants, he said: You are all here for a two days consultation to gelthe views from governments, civil society, media, academics and other circles. Althoughwe have got intergovernmental forum in the shape of SAARC but communication in thefield of disaster response is limited. Oxfam came with an admirable idea of thinking andworking together. I welcome the efforts of all the organizations that made it happen.Thanks to colleagues from all over south Asian Countries.Hindu Kush Himalaya is one of the most disaster prone regions in the world. Scientificanalyses say that the region is going to face many more disasters with addedfrequency. We might have many more natural surprises in terms of time, geography andincidences. Our monsoon has already shifted. Its intensity is increasing every year. It isa challenge for Pakistan and so is for India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka andMaldives. Riverine floods in Bangladesh are well known. We have seen earthquakes,floods, tsunami, landslides, mudslides and what not. You name a disaster we have ithere and all is interconnected. If it snows in Nepal, it affects India. If it snows in India, itaffects Pakistan. If it rains heavily in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, it affects Pakistan. Andif an earthquake jolts Afghanistan, it shakes Pakistan too.