Commemoration of the United Nations IDDR by UNESCO-SAARC Academic Alliance Highlights Neglected Measures

Top Quote Historic Launch of 'DRR Deca-archic Model' & Post-DESPO Appraisal by SAIRI Research Initiative, indicates strategic flaws in DRR frameworks and entails technical aspects of disasters' aftermath consequences of epidemiological vulnerabilities and predispositions. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) October 17, 2014 - Lahore, Pakistan - The International Day for Disaster Reduction started in 1989 with the approval by the United Nations General Assembly. The UN General Assembly sees the IDDR as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Originally celebrated as per resolution 44/236, 22 December 1989, the UN General Assembly decided to designate 10/13 as the date to celebrate the IDDR (resolution 64/200, 21 December 2009).

    International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

    On the UN-IDDR Observance 2014, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and SAIRI Research Initiative of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), conjointly issued a communal call for 'integration in framework for disaster management', worldwide in order to incorporate concrete policies and accustomed modus-operandi protocols for marginalized groups, in emergency situations.

    A 'research & reform' model titled 'Deca-archic Model of Disaster Risk Reduction' ('DDRR Model' for 'Hyogo Framework for Action-HFA 2005-2015), along with 'DESPO Appraisal' has been launched through the SAARC-UNESCO, by SAIRI Research Initiative.

    The model and the DESPO report correspondingly indicate three hardest-hit 'key marginalized' ivories, that usually become more demoted and sidelined in emergency situations: the disables, pregnant women and the older persons caught in the catastrophic havocs.

    There is strong evidence that marginalized groups comprising of disables, pregnant women and the older persons suffer disproportionately from disasters even in developed countries.

    The assessment appraisal piloted by UNESCO-SAIRI conjoint initiatives for today's International Day for Disaster Reduction demonstrates that the disables, pregnant women and the older persons are often excluded or marginalized when disaster management plans are being drawn up at community level. More than 75% of these marginalized ivories become most affected on disproportionate scales.

    It has been seen in the past several decades that natural disasters carry along with them epidemics, that consequence to hazardous ailments.

    The "Deca-archic DRR 'Research n Reform' Model" and the DESPO report entail the technical aspects of the aftermath consequences of the post-disasters' pandemic proneness, contagion predispositions and epidemiological vulnerabilities, and puts 'high-spot' emphasis with a necessitating focus on decontamination after the pestilential contaminated fusions espoused through assimilation of flood waters and cyclones' amalgamation with contagion remnants of flood ruined crops, soil, along with other mephitic remnants.

    Major indicators of pandemic outbreaks and multiple epidemiological proneness, encircling the topics like mal-nutrition and mal-absorption and their outfalls consequencing to the complications of cell mediated immunity (CMI), must be dreamt up, says DESPO.

    Impaired absorption of water, electrolytes and minerals, which is often likely to be occurred in disasters, causes impaired formation of Micelle + C complex, which in turn results in multiple mal-absorption, a complex mechanical abnormality. The presence of either both types of deficiencies, or any one of the above mentioned factors can seriously affect the C.M.I. (cell mediated immunity) leading to pathological complications in small babies, especially in those, below one year.

    Special attention and considerate alertness must be paid to target the displaced children and the pregnant women, which if not demonstrated aptly, could lead towards grimly severe and far-reaching consequences, caution the DESPO indicators.

    "Extraordinary focused target must be clinched for the displaced children" asserts DESPO DRR report.

    The disables, hit by the havocs, who become displaced from their local vicinities, should be compassionately dealt with, and must be taken sympathetic care of.

    Most of the conventional strategic plans on disaster management, cover many technical aspects but essentially lack the integration. Deca-archic Moldel's parameters apprehended by SAIRI, however, follow the holistic approach and are explicitly designed to cover a wide range of topics - from pandemic proneness to contagion predispositions and epidemiological vulnerabilities drivers, and are therefore an important advance in disaster management policy making.

    Provisional accommodational settlements are the measures that should be taken promptly, and are among the 'must to be prioritized' during the first phase of emergency response, mentions further the model's indicators.

    For disables, on account of already being marginalized segments of the society, considerated measures must be ensured, stresses the SAIRI's principal investigator of DESPO assessments, Prof. Qadhi Aurangzeb Al Hafi. Dr Aurangzeb Hafi, served as the chief epidemiologist and prime investigatory research-analyst in Asian Tsunami 2004, and maintained technical liaisons with UN, its agencies and other local and international sectors of relevance. It vigors to Prof. Hafi's credit that he holds the rectitude honor of innovatively slotting in ISDR, the concepts of disability protocols inclusiveness in DRR in 2005, being the investigatory head of the Tsunami's CRRA-CRRM projects, that eventually pioneered the disability inclusive protocols and pregnancy accustomed modules in disaster management frameworks.

    Prof. A.Z. Hafi is now associated with several institutions in capacity of postdoc principal investigator, including SAARC-DUHS Hydro-toxicology chair and the UNESCO chair of watershed management at PU, which has joined the SAIRI's DESPO project in a principal research-partnership. Prof. Al Hafi has also headed multiple disabilities risk-factors assessment and disability prevention projects in Sri Lanka and different parts of the world, especially in cataclysmic situations.

    Dr. Khalida M. Khan, who holds presently the UNESCO chair of watershed management at P.U. extends strong recommendations to address the impeded set-back, by incorporating the DESPO indicators in the disaster management policy frame-working.

    DESPO assessments along with the model's parameters are aimed to identify the technical facets that are often neglected during the emergency response, and are must to be prioritized in the rehabilitation phase. The UNHCR, UNISDR, WHO, UNICEF and UNESCO and the local governments are amongst the principal stakeholders of the DESPO indicators.

    SAIRI holds an adept consummate expertise in Pre-DESPO as well as Post-DESPO phases. The Post-DESPO assessment report has been prepared by SAIRI's research collaboration with the UNESCO chair for watershed management, at PU.

    DESPO points out that the directives sent by the authorities for the early phases of emergency response, dearth certain methodological facets on technical accounts, that are inevitable to accomplish the set targets. Coordinated efforts done by the local administrations must be coupled with the technical inputs, in view of the emergency, suggests the report.

    Strategies should be devised to face the imminent consequential inevitabilities with a particular focus on the facets often neglected in conventional models of disaster management.

    The first HFA-DDRR model and 'Post-Disaster's Epidemiological Susceptibility & Pandemic Outbreaks (DESPO) assessment appraisals have been prepared by UNESCO Adjoined SAARC-HFA Committee and SAIRI's research collaboration with the UNESCO chair for watershed management, at PU, Pakistan.

    Two web-porticos and have been designated for ISDR content dissemination, concerning the SAARC sector's DRR and Hyogo Framework of Action 2005-2015.

    The UN agencies, local governments and disaster management bodies are urged for a considerate revision in regard of strategic frame-working.

    The health institutions and other quarters of relevance must endure to be vigilant on the account of marginalized groups to save precious lives.

    Press Contact:
    UNESCO Pakistan
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Pakistan.
    UNESCO Chair, University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
    UAN: +92-51-111-710-745 FAX: +92-51-2600250

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