Marking IDDR Day: We should not wait for a disaster to happen, we should act preventively

Oct 13, 2017

On the occasion of marking of the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction, the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina presented a new project "Interlinking Disaster Risk Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina (IDRM)" for which Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, has allocated USD 350,000.

The project's objective is to improve the policy and legal framework for disaster risk reduction, and to implement disaster and climate risk mitigation measures at all levels of government to protect citizens. The project will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Civil Protection Directorate of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Civil Protection Directorate of Republika Srpska, Department of Public Safety of Brčko District, cantonal and municipal authorities.

On this occasion, Idriz Brković, Head of Strategic Planning and Protection and Rescue Department at the BiH Ministry of Security, emphasized that disaster risk reduction implies a comprehensive approach in this area, involving actors from different sectors, and continuous acquiring of new skills and knowledge. "It is crucial to work on improving inter-institutional co-ordination and co-operation with the active involvement of high disaster risk local communities in the planning and implementation of measures in the field."

United Nations Development Program Resident Representative, Mrs. Sezin Sinanoglu, reminded everyone of the floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014 and the forest fires from this year.
"The estimates of flood and landslide risk in the housing sector, which were made in 2015, show that more than half a million of citizens in BiH live in areas of high risk of flooding or landslides, which is a huge number" said Sinanoglu.

"We should never wait for a disaster to happen. Instead, we need to act preventively to avoid devastating effects" added Sinanoglu further. Through this project, we are working very concretely in five municipalities to improve their understanding of disaster risk reduction.

Ambassador of Republic of Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nicola Minasi, said that disaster risk reduction and responding in that context requires an integrated approach that will encompass all levels of government. "Our experience in Italy has shown the need to align national policies with the response at the local level," emphasized Ambassador Minasi.

Director of Civil Protection Directorate of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fahrudin Solak stated, "It is very important to increase awareness of the existence of disasters, to help local communities to produce specific planning documents. This project functions to help local communities make appropriate assessments, then plans, assess their capacities and what they need to do to reduce the negative impact of natural and other disasters".

Darko Ljuboje, Deputy Director of Civil Protection Directorate of Republika Srpska, expressed his satisfaction that his civil protection administration is part of this project which has a goal to strengthen disaster risk management capacity.

The International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction is celebrated every year on October 13th, based on the United Nations General Assembly resolution from 2009, and it is devoted to fighting the risk of natural disasters emerging from the activity of natural forces.

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