Islamic Relief and Government of AJ&K launch 10-year Road Map for Disaster Risk Management

Disaster Risk Management Roadmap for Azad Jammu & Kashmir 2017-2026

Launching ceremony, Islamabad

On March 6th 2017, Islamic Relief, in collaboration with the government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) and the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), launched an official Road Map for Disaster Risk Management for AJ&K for the next ten years. This document will serve as an official guideline for government and state actors to set strategic priorities to develop a robust Disaster Risk Management Plan in disaster prone AJ&K. The need for such a planned, strategic and thorough approach to disaster management in the area is paramount as AJ&K is prone to frequent disasters such as floods, landslides, earthquakes and climate change.

The document was developed through an exhaustive consultation process involving all key stakeholders. A series of State and Divisional level consultation workshops were organized, as well as a series of consultation meetings with federal agencies, state and district administrations, academia, state line agencies, UN agencies, donors, civil society forums and vulnerable communities.

Over 100 people attended the launch event held in Islamabad, and speeches were delivered by Chief Secretary SDMA and Secretary Relief, Disaster Management and Civil Defense AJ&K government, Zaheer-Uddin Qureshi; Adnan Cheema, Country Director Islamic Relief Pakistan; and chief guest, Raja Farooq Haider, Prime Minister AJ&K. The event was chaired by Annan Qureshi, HR Manager of Islamic Relief Pakistan.

In his speech, Prime Minister AJ&K, Raja Farooq Haider praised the work of the SDMA and Islamic Relief in producing the Road Map for the betterment of the region. He continued to say: “I assure all stakeholders that the Government of AJ&K shall provide full support for the smooth implementation of the Roadmap and strengthen the SDMA to facilitate the implementation of the Roadmap.”

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Adnan Cheema, Country Director of Islamic Relief Pakistan described the need for a comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Plan for AJ&K as “evident”, and spoke about how the region, like many other parts of Pakistan is also affected by climate change. He said: “It is heartening to note that the Road Map has also taken into account the challenges posed by Climate Change and made concrete suggestions in this regard.” Adnan Cheema also spoke about the extensive work Islamic Relief has been doing across AJ&K, serving some of the most vulnerable communities such as Bagh, Neelum and Haveli.

The Road Map document was officially handed over from Islamic Relief Pakistan to the Prime Minister AJ&K, and the SDMA.
Secretary SDMA, Zaheer-Uddin Qureshi said: “we want all the people concerned, the stakeholders, particularly the local communities to share their responsibilities in the risk management programmes.”

The launch ceremony was a big success, with positive feedback from attendees and media coverage in over seven news publications, including broadcast TV and online TV. Islamic Relief is looking forward to continuing such vital work in the region, enhancing resilience and preparedness.