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 für 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:



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