KARACHI: The Sindh branch of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) recently organized a coordination meeting on urban resilience at the Emergency Operation Centre of PRCS-Sindh, Hilal-e-Ahmer House, Karachi.
All the relevant stakeholders and humanitarian organizations participated in the meeting with the aim of building working relationships to enhance the capacities of the Emergency Response Force (ERF) and strengthen the mechanism of emergency response in the city.
The event was presided by the Chairman PRCS-Sindh, Shahnaz S Hamid, and attended by the representatives of the Edhi Welfare Organization, the Chhipa Welfare Association, the Saylani Welfare Trust, the Aman Foundation, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), the Institute of Oceanography Pakistan, the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association, the Federal and Sindh Civil Defense Training School, the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the Social Welfare Sindh, the Fire Protection Association of Pakistan (FPAP), the 1299 Rescue Service, the KMC Fire Department and the Office of Commissioner Karachi.
Chairman Mrs Shahnaz said that the PRCS is a statutory body established under an act of parliament, works throughout the country as an auxiliary to a government organization. “It is a leading humanitarian organization that offers its services as per its mandate for alleviating sufferings of the most vulnerable affected by natural or man-made disasters,” she stated.
The Chairman further said that preparing communities to cope with disasters to reduce the risks & hazards and build the capacities of youth during peacetime are integral parts of the PRCS intervention. “The PRCS-Sindh has established an Emergency Response Force (ERF) in the province especially responds in urban disasters and emergencies with trained volunteer’s network in Karachi and other cities,” said the Chairman.
She further said that all welfare organizations, government departments, rescue and response agencies in Karachi must work together to deal with disasters and provide more effective assistance to those affected.
Honorary General Secretary, Tariq Moen, welcomed all participants and said that this meeting primarily aims to increase interaction between emergency response organizations and concerned government departments for future collaboration.
Provincial Secretary, Kanwar Waseem, said that the PRCS-Sindh is working with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) for more than a decade on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Projects. The IFRC has vast experience in serving the most vulnerable people and has made valuable efforts in recent years to support the development of more resilient communities in urban areas worldwide. The Urban Resilience Hub at IFRC Asia Pacific Regional Office has initiated a pilot project in Karachi to establish a coordination network with relevant stakeholders/Humanitarian actors, including government, civil society organizations (CSOs), NGOs/INGOs, institutional donors, think tanks, and networks working on Emergency Response in Karachi. The Provincial Secretary also announced that PRCS-Sindh is going to launch a mobile application on the Disaster Management System to establish a nexus among all stakeholders in case of emergency and to disseminate information about the incident.
Stakeholders also appreciated the initiative of the PRCS and vowed to assist in any way that they could and will work together.