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NDMA, UNICEF organises consultative workshop for child-focused DRR education.

ISLAMABAD -- National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)'s Gender and Child Cell (GCC) in collaboration with United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Tuesday organized a consultative workshop cogitating over Pakistan Safety School Framework (PSSF) Communications Strategy to involve stakeholders for better, deep rooted and child-focused multi-sectoral communication and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) education with community-level engagement.

The consultative workshop was attended by various representatives from humanitarian assistance organizations - UN and INGOs, PIERA, Federal Directorate of Education, National Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Network, Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMA) Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, provincial education departments, public and private schools, and members of NDMA.

The consultative dialogue carried out discussion in three different sessions thrashing out various topics ranging from rationale for child-focused PSSF communication strategy, community-level and multi- sectoral engagement in DDR to identification of awareness gaps, case study of a bomb blast victim and culminated at group presentations by various participants providing constructive feedback for the PSSF initiative.

The UNICEF representative advocated that the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress; and their support for NDMA to further the rights of children in all phases of disasters.

Since Pakistan is a disaster-prone country, it is a crucial time to educate the 65 percent youth of the country. In case of disasters, children are the most sensitive, active and also equally vulnerable members of the society hence, require the most awareness and capacity building for DDR at the very optimum level of school.

Communication strategy for PSSF is interlinked with disaster mitigation while the workshop aims at bringing diverse opinions to devolve an inclusive strategy.

The moderators and participants joined heads over Behavior Change and Communication Gaps in coping with disasters as it has been taken that any communication tool on strategy to bring a community level transformation to change behaviors should involve every member of the society.

PSSF mainly aims at building capacity of schools to implement safe environment for students in disasters however, the consultative session moved a step forward where deliberators linked gender-based issues and barriers for the vulnerable faction of the society that ultimately contribute to man-induced disasters.

NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Omar Mahmood Hayat commending Pakistan School Safety Framework said it will serve as another milestone in NDMA's efforts to ensure that children are protected and prepared for emergencies and their voices are included in decision-making process and policy formulation at all levels of disaster management.

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Date:Nov 28, 2018
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