In the context of the UNDP project in partnership with the Lebanese Government to strengthen its capacities in Disaster Risk Management, and under the patronage of the Minister of Interior and Municipalities, a Training of Trainers has been organized and implemented in collaboration with UNISDR. The workshop was held in the presence of Mr Remond Medleg, representing the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, Mr Luca Renda, UNDP Country Director, Dr Samir Daher, Advisor to the Prime Minister and National focal point for disaster risk management, Ms Helena Molin Valdes, Deputy Director and Head of Advocacy and Outreach Section at The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), and Mrs Luna Abu-Swaireh, Regional Programme Officer at UNISDR Regional Office for Arab States.
The training of trainers (TOT) was attended by around 50 municipalities and unions from the different governorates of Lebanon, as well as 10 trainers from the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities.
In effect, UNDP’s DRM unit has supported the joining of 249 municipalities and unions of municipalities to the UNISDR World Disaster Reduction Campaign “Making Resilient Cities – My City is Getting Ready” that aims to achieve resilient, sustainable urban communities.
The workshop aimed at building the capacities of local government officials in order to equip them with the necessary knowledge and tools to train municipalities on the integration of disaster risk reduction in city planning and local development.
Opening the workshop, Mr Medleg, representing the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities pointed out that the workshop “comes in due time to involve municipalities in disaster risk reduction, especially that Lebanon is prone to natural disasters, most notably earthquakes”.
Whereas Mr Daher stressed “the close inter-linkages between poverty reduction, development, and disaster risk reduction” stating that “the toll and burden of disasters is more considerable in less developed countries”.
On the other hand, Mr Renda touched on the importance of "climate change pushing us more frequently towards extreme weather variations, and towards higher-intensity droughts, floods and hurricanes”. He stated that ”if we do not act today to reduce the effects of natural disasters, their global cost may well exceed $300 billion, each year, by 2050”.
During the workshop, participants were introduced to concepts of resilience as they relate to cities and communities. They were also given tools that would allow them to start planning for building the resilience of their communities.
The workshop also presented a platform for regional and international cities to share their experiences on disaster risk reduction and the implementation of the 10 campaign essentials. Among these were the cities of Amadora, Portugal, Nice France, Aqaba and Petra, Jordan.
Finally, in her concluding remarks, Ms Valdes encouraged participants to follow up on the group work and discussions, and work on systematic approaches to build resilience.
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