Member States Join Virtual Dialogue on Sharing Experiences and Strategies for COVID-19 Response, Transition, and Resilience

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Europe & Central Asia

Over 30 European and Central Asia member states joined a successful virtual dialogue Wednesday 6 May on “Sharing Experiences and Strategies for COVID-19 Response, Transition, and Resilience,"  The dialogue, co-organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the World Health Organization, and the Government of Israel, gave the opportunity for Member States who have been dealing with COVID-19 crisis to share experiences, challenges and lessons learned with their peers.

Member States reflected on what needs to be done to better anticipate future pandemic risk, and how to strengthen the capacities of governments and communities to tackle a second wave or another similar emergency.

"Prevention saves lives and it requires good governance to make the transition from response to resilience,” said Ms. Mami Mizutori Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.  “The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the global blueprint for reducing risk and disaster impact adopted five years ago by UN member states, included biological hazards because memories were still fresh of earlier disease outbreaks of Ebola, SARS, MERS and H1N1.

The review of experiences and lessons learned during this dialogue helps to ensure that the national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction prioritize pandemic preparedness alongside the many other risks that countries face.  Now is the time to ensure that we recover in a resilient way and take this opportunity to improve prevention across the region and boost international cooperation."

“The world is facing the greatest public health challenge of modern times. The European Region remains at the epicenter of the pandemic. So many livelihoods are at risk. So many lives have been lost. COVID-19 is a test of solidarity that we simply cannot afford to fail,” said Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

“This pandemic and its impact on our lives is exceptional, but every day, every minute, we are gathering evidence, sharing knowledge and taking steps to stop this virus, and to make our health response more robust, and sustainable. You all have so much expertise and experience to share. It is vital that we work together, learn from each other and coordinate efforts. By so doing, we will beat this pandemic, united,” he added.

MFA Coordination and Policy Planning Deputy Director General Meirav Eilon Shahar: “In Israel the authorities are working day in and day out to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. As a result, various lessons have been learnt, policy guidelines and different tools were developed. Israel is keen on sharing them with anyone in this virtual room and beyond.  Israel is proud to be co-hosting together with UNDRR and the WHO this pioneering event and am looking forward for the outcomes.”

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