Mark of the The International Day for Disaster Reduction

Oct 13, 2017

The International Day for Disaster Reduction

On last 13 October, the Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), established by the support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Kosovo in partnership with the Japanese Government, organized the event to celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR).

Since 2010, institutions in Kosovo have annually organized a variety of events to mark the IDDR on central and local levels following each year’s theme announced by the United Nations office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

This year the IDDR 2017 delivered two messages which are ‘Reducing the number of casualties’ and ‘#HomeSafeHome’. These messages were intended to give a clear message to all central and local institutions in Kosovo asking for their commitment to the community level and also encouraging them to build technical capacities required to ensure zero casualties and reduce the number of affected people for possible future natural disasters.

At the main event of the IDDR 2017 in Prishtina/Priština, all participating institutions discussed the capacities and gaps in the area of DRR. Relevant topics such as seismology, risk-informed urban planning, early warning, community resilience, DRR strategy and Red Cross activities were thoroughly presented by the responsible authorities, which enabled the audience to understand the level of preparedness of the institutions in Kosovo in case of disasters. 

A specific focus was given to the gender aspect of DRR and the role of women in emergency situations. In particular, Mr. Andrew Russell, UNDP Kosovo’s Resident Representative, emphasized the importance of the role of women during his opening speech, saying “Women are natural leaders in case of disaster”.

In addition to this main event, other activities of raising public awareness were organized in 16 municipalities to inform the public of the IDDR and share promotional materials of a range of disaster situations which may threaten Kosovo citizens in the future.

For instance, the Red Cross of Kosovo organized the activity where educational posters were put up at school buildings, which shows behavioral guidelines to students in the prevention of earthquake, flooding and fire. In general, the activities were successfully organized reaching to significant number of people throughout Kosovo.

While a local NGO ‘Domovik ensured that this awareness-raising campaign could be delivered to the people living in four northern municipalities, more than 30 volunteers were engaged in the activity of distributing leaflets especially designed for promoting the IDDR (13 October) in both city center and towns by visiting public institutions, schools, private companies, etc. A promotional video was also developed and shared through social media and local TV stations.

The first Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy in Kosovo was drafted through the close cooperation between the UNDP Kosovo and Swiss platform for Natural Hazards (PLANAT) and then launched on February 2017. As a leading coordination body, EMA then took a mission to coordinate institutions in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction. 

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