ESCAP and Germany strengthen partnership in early warning for coastal hazards

Bangkok? (ESCAP News) ? The partnership between the United Nations Economic?and? Social? Commission? for? Asia? and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Federal?Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to strengthen early?warning? systems? for? coastal? hazards? was? boosted last week, with a new?contribution? of? Euro? 250,000? to? the? ESCAP? Multi-Donor Trust Fund for?Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness.

The new contribution follows an?initial contribution of Euro 500,000 made in December 2013.

?ESCAP? welcomes the renewed support of the German Government to strengthen?early? ?warning? ?systems,?? ?said? Dr.? Shamshad? Akhtar,? United? Nations?Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary. “Ten years after the?2004? Indian? Ocean? Tsunami,? much? has? been? achieved? in? strengthening?resilience? to? disasters? in? the Asia-Pacific region; however, we need to?continue? to? invest? in preparedness and early warning, especially in high?risk and low capacity least developed countries of the region.”

A? key? lesson? from? the? 2004? Indian Ocean Tsunami was the importance of?effective? early warning systems. In the wake of the disaster, countries in?the? Asia-Pacific? region? and? their? partners? came together to engage in?renewed? regional collaboration, which led to important initiatives such as?the establishment of the ESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster?and Climate Preparedness in 2005.

The? ?Trust? ?Fund? ?supports? activities? that? build? resilience? through?strengthened? early? warning? systems for coastal hazards such as tsunamis,?tropical? cyclones and storm surges. It has made important contributions to?the? establishment? of? effective? regional? mechanisms, such as the Indian?Ocean Tsunami Warning System and the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early?Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES), as well as to the strengthening?of warning systems at the national and local levels.

The? contribution? is? part? of? the? Global? Initiative? on? Disaster Risk?Management? (GIDRM)? which is implemented through the Deutsche Gesellschaft?f?r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), of which ESCAP is a major partner.?The? initiative? brings? together a wide range of stakeholders from Germany?and? the Asia-Pacific region, providing a forum for new and innovative ways?of collaboration in disaster risk management.

?Each? year? extreme? natural events destroy the livelihoods of hundreds of?thousands? of? people,? cost countless lives and cause financial damages in?the? hundreds of billions worldwide.? said Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary?State? Secretary,? Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development?(BMZ).? ?Mechanisms like the Multi-Donor Trust Fund are considered critical?in? strengthening? Disaster? Risk? Management across regions and leveraging?Germany?s efforts in a multi-hazard Early Warning System coverage in Asia.?

For further information, contact:

Ms. Francyne Harrigan, Chief, Strategic Communications and Advocacy
Section, ESCAP, M: (66) 81 835 8677 / E:?;

Ms. Francesca Ross, Public Information Officer, Strategic Communications
and Advocacy Section, ESCAP, M: (66) 0846 852897 / E:?