NCDM rolls out disaster-control plan

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NCDM first vice-president Kun Kim (centre) in Kandal province on Wednesday. NCDM

The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) has formally launched the Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction 2019-2023 due to Cambodia’s status as a country that is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Addressing participants during a ceremony to introduce the plan and review the 2020 disaster management results on February 17, NCDM first vice-president Kun Kim said the plan’s goal is to build up Cambodia’s resilience to climate-related disasters and to mitigate socio-economic impacts by improving the country’s disaster management system.

Kun Kim said the NCDM hoped to achieve a reduction in the negative consequences experienced due to the occurrence of natural disasters such as drought, water shortages, insufficient rainfall, rain-induced floods, river bank collapses and infectious diseases.

“An effective disaster impact reduction plan will help to achieve sustainable development for all.

“In order to successfully put into practice this complex Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction, it will require the full cooperation of all ministries, institutions, sub-national administrations, civil society organisations and the private sector,” he said.

He noted the action plan takes into account stakeholders’ perspectives and join them together in the common purpose of building resilience to climate change in Cambodia.

He said this requires raising awareness about the threats caused by climate change and Cambodia’s particular vulnerabilities in this area in order to cement good governance into place that will reduce the risks involved with disasters.

Kim concluded that relevant ministries and institutions have to integrate their responses under the existing legal framework by utilising its cooperative mechanisms to plan effective policies within the overall context of building a sustainable development programme.

Yin Khun Phoy, undersecretary of state at the Council of Ministers and NCDM secretary-general, said sustainable development cannot be separated from an effective disaster risk reduction plan.

He said disaster risk reduction and building resilience both require strong leadership and effective policies that will reduce the negative impacts of these disasters on society.

“When there are floods and other disasters, the most vulnerable people are children, people with disabilities, elderly people and women.

“Disasters hinder our socio-economic development. They influence the livelihoods of everyone and especially the people who are already the most vulnerable. Poverty cannot be eliminated and sustainable development cannot move forward without meaningful disaster risk reduction,” Phoy explained.

He said the 2019-2023 action plan was a four-point plan that included disaster risk awareness; increased cooperation between government agencies when disasters take place; increased investment in disaster risk reduction and preparedness; and advance planning of the government’s response to disasters such as plans for restoring services and the rebuilding of infrastructure.