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August 23, 2019

National Disaster Management Committee to step up efforts for preparedness

Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses National Disaster Management Committee meeting. Photo: MNA
Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses National Disaster Management Committee meeting. Photo: MNA

Vice President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as the chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, called for stepping up efforts for disaster preparedness saying that preparation is better than rehabilitation only after disasters.
As part of efforts for disaster preparedness, the Vice President laid down 10-point guidelines for disaster preparedness in regions and states at a meeting of the committee yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw.
He urged the region and state governments to find out key tasks for disaster preparedness and to carry out the tasks in cooperation with the ministries concerned.
The guidelines also include collecting resources including human, monetary and technical forces, conducting rehearsal, systematic spending of finance, sharing data and information, raising knowledge of disaster and promoting the capacity of the people to respond to disasters.
As the disaster management demands collective strength from different institutions, it needs systematic formation, policies and rule and procedures which are in conformity with the law and policies of Myanmar, said Vice President U Henry Van Thio.
The committee has reformed its advisory board with experts from different sectors related with disasters, said U Henry Van Thio.
The disaster management committees were also formed at regions, states, self-administered region and zones, districts, townships, ward and villages.
Speaking at the meeting, he also quoted the remark of the State Counsellor made in her visit to flood-hit Kayin State in July last year, saying that the country was facing the changes that had not happened in the past and the changes are expected to happen constantly.
“As disasters are expected to regularly happen and can impact all people, without discrimination, the public is still obligated to respond to disasters. While preparing for disasters should begin at the level of the public, in an attempt to reduce losses, it is the ministries, region and state governments that should take a leading role in the drive,” said Vice President U Henry Van Thio.

The Vice President also stressed the need to step up efforts for disaster preparedness, cooperation and coordination and fulfilling the requirements sector wise. Response to disasters demands skills and quick assessment and response to the ground situation, he said, adding that however, it is required to follow the rules and regulations and to take care of monetary and aid sectors.
The Union Government instructed the ministries to establish emergency fund in preparation for responding disasters which are expected to hit due to the climate change, said the Vice President.
He also urged the ministries to seek and use the fund in accordance with the law as the Union Government has already given instructions following the Emergency Fund Law.
He also stressed the need to take lessons from past experiences to be better plans when the ministries carried out the disaster management work, giving example to floods happened in the country last year.
In his 10-point disaster preparedness guidelines, the Vice President also called on the ministries concerned, region and state governments to make more cooperation and coordination.
Afterwards, Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye, Vice Chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, reported on implementation of prioritized tasks by the committee.
Afterwards, Deputy Minister U Soe Aung, Secretary of the committee, implementation of the resolutions of the 1/2018 meeting and Dr. Ko Ko Naing, Director-General of the Disaster Management Department on the budget of the committee in 2018.
Afterwards, Members of the committee Union Ministers U Kyaw Tint Swe, Dr. Pe Myint, Dr. Aung Thu, U Thant Sin Maung, U Khin Maung Cho and Dr. Than Myint on their sectors respectively.
Afterwards, Chairman of the Nay Pyi Taw Council, chief ministers of regions and states, deputy ministers and Yangon Mayor reported on measures taken for the disaster preparedness.
U Maung Maung Khin, Chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, and members, and departmental officials give advices for measures to be taken in regions.
In his conclusion remarks, Vice President U Henry Van Thio coordinated the works and urged the region and state governments to closely supervise the infrastructures which are under construction with the use of the emergency fund of the committee in regions and states to meet set standards.
He also called for cooperation and coordination among the bodies concerned to release the information of works the disaster management committees at different levels and news and information related with disasters in timely manner.—MNA
(Translated by GNLM)

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