Final meeting of the EU/UNDRR project on “Strengthening Disaster Resilience and Accelerating Implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Central Asia”

Almaty, 15 February – The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR) conducted a final meeting to showcase the achievements of the EU-funded “Strengthening disaster resilience and accelerating implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Central Asia” project, which supports countries in the region to implement Sendai Framework priorities.

Since 2019, the European Union has been supporting five Central Asian countries to build the foundations for greater resilience through enhanced data, capacity, governance, and cooperation at local, urban, regional, and national levels, within this project, implemented by UNDRR in close collaboration with national governments, CESDRR, CIMA Research Foundation, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, IFRC, UNDP, UNECE, WB and other stakeholders and technical experts.

Today’s event brought together representatives of national governments, implementing partners, as well as donors and other stakeholders in disaster risk reduction, to review the programme’s achievements; assess the challenges and opportunities for future cooperation, including on strengthening risk knowledge, emergency preparedness, and climate change adaptation at regional, national, and local levels; and to accelerate overall implementation of the regional disaster risk reduction strategy.

The project’s key achievements include the strengthening the role of CESDRR in Almaty as a regional secretariat  for coordination, and source of experience, information and capacity building in DRR. Within the project the Regional disaster risk profile of CA was developed, on the basis of which the Regional Strategy for Development of Cooperation between Countries of Central Asia in Disaster Risk Reduction for 2022 – 2030 was developed by the CESDRR, agreed at Regional Forum-Meeting of the Heads of emergency authorities of CA countries  in 2021 with subsequent annual actions plans (Roadmap) for its implementation, and the experts of the CESDRR arranged and conducted instructional and methodological workshops with national coordinators and specialists from the emergency authorities of Central Asian countries on the preparation of reports on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction for 2015-2030.

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Michaela Friberg-Storey, UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Kazakhstan, stressed the importance of this type of project to reduce disaster risk reduction and noted that investing in DRR is essentially investing in life, mentioning that $1 invested in DRR would save $7.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Mr. Robert Brudzinski emphasized the continuing role of the European Union in supporting disaster resilience and emergency preparedness in the countries of the region.

In his speech, Mr. Octavian Bivol, Head of the UNDRR Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, highlighted the significant achievements of the region in strengthening regional cooperation on disaster risk reduction, while stressing the need to further strengthen joint efforts of all stakeholders to address the more complex risks in one of the most vulnerable regions of the world. In addition, Mr. Bivol highlighted the importance of the work being done to establish a regional early warning system for emergencies.

Mr. Serik Aubakirov, Director of the CESDRR, said: "We are grateful for such high appreciation of the results of this joint project by the leadership of the EU and UNDRR offices! At the same time, taking into account the achievements and based on the approval of the governments of CA countries, our Center expresses its readiness to proceed to implementation of practical activities resulting from the adopted strategic documents, and expects support from all partners and donors!"

At the end of the meeting, the Center announced a number of project proposals, which are of interest to all Central Asian countries according to the Comparative analysis of compliance with the Plan of implementation of the Strategy for development of cooperation in DRR for 2023-204 with the strategic action plans of the five countries in the region.

The relevance of the project proposals during the discussion was emphasized by all donor and partner organizations.