WINDHOEK: The Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) signed agreements on disaster reduction interventions with the European Union delegation in Namibia here on Monday.
The Disaster Preparedness Actions project will be implemented by the NRCS, while the Coordination and Management of Relocation Camps project will be implemented by IOM.
Speaking at the signing of the agreement for the two projects which were launched by Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku, the Head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Namibia Raul Fuentes Milani said the EU will provide support totaling more than N.dollars 23 million in aid of the disaster reduction interventions.
He explained that the EU, through the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) will provide more than N.dollars four million in humanitarian assistance through the Spanish Red Cross and the NRCS to enhance the preparedness of small communities to face emergency situations.
“The intervention is two-fold: on the one hand we will assist local communities in disaster-prone areas. On the other hand we will assist the Directorate of Disaster Risk Management in providing effective coordination on disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities and ensuring appropriate coordination with all stakeholders in Namibia,” he explained.
The second project supported by the EU is implemented by the IOM in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM). The EU is providing financial assistance of N.dollars three million to the project that is aimed at enhancing national capacity and preparedness in camp coordination and camp management by way of strengthening camp management trainers, he stressed.
Through this assistance, information and site planning will also be strengthened so that the needs of displaced populations are effectively identified, referred and addressed in the event of natural disaster.
On his part, Hausiku who launched the projects said: “It is gratifying to note that our partners have made and continue to make contributions to reduce human suffering and to strengthen our capacities to be more resilient to future disasters.” He mentioned that Namibia is experiencing an increase in frequency and severity of disasters with floods and droughts becoming recurring phenomena.
According to Hausiku, there are clear indications from reliable forecasts that disasters will become more severe and more frequent, further eroding the capacities of Namibia’s societies to cope and make them less resilient to disasters.
He added that the destructive nature of disasters is evident as demonstrated in the Post Flood Disaster Needs Assessment Report of 2009 and reports of subsequent flood disasters of 2010 and 2011.
The disasters cause human suffering, loss of livelihoods, and damage to public infrastructure, thereby slowing down development.