Local governments in disasters: Precautions, emergency action, and recovery

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Arab States United Cities and Local Governments
Istanbul, Turkey

5 April 2023, The United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) organized a webinar on the critical role of local governments in disaster management. The webinar was conducted in English, Turkish, and Arabic and featured prominent speakers, who shared their valuable insights and experiences on disaster management, mitigation, response, and recovery.

The keynotes were delivered by the UNDRR Regional Office for Arab States, providing a brief on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Making Cities Resilient 2030 programme (MCR2030). 

The panel session featured speakers from Union of Municipalities of Türkiye, Istanbul Technical University, and Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic, who discussed the critical role that local governments play in disaster management. They emphasized the importance of planning, risk analysis, and disaster risk reduction policies, highlighting the role of local governments as the first responders in the aftermath of a disaster and their responsibility for assessing and mitigating the risks associated with disasters, promoting community resilience and preparedness, and playing a critical role in the recovery and rebuilding process after a disaster. The speakers shed light on the important role of local governments in disaster management, particularly in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes that struck Syria and Türkiye.

The webinar concluded with closing remarks from the UNDRR ROAS, reiterating the critical role that local governments play in disaster management and the importance of collaboration and cooperation between various stakeholders in disaster management and reduction, and highlighting UCLG and UNDRR collaboration and coordination and their concerted efforts in addressing the challenges faced by local governments in disaster management and the continuous support that they can provide together to overcome these challenges and build resilience. 

In conclusion, the webinar provided valuable insights into the critical role of local governments in ensuring the safety and well-being of their communities. The discussions and insights shared during the webinar will serve as a catalyst for further action and engagement in disaster risk reduction and disaster management, toward building resilient communities and cities, and a safer, more sustainable future for all.

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