Disaster reduction week in Moldova

16 Oct 2013

imageFloods in 2010 caused damage and loss of over 75 million dollars, highlighting the importance of disaster risk reduction in Moldova, especially in certain weather conditions that indicate a high probability of extreme temperatures and heavy rainfall due to climate change. Photo: UNICEF Moldova

This year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction focuses on people with disabilities. In Moldova, this Day is marked through a week-long campaign which includes awareness and training activities.

The Civil Protection and Emergency Situation Service of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Moldova, with the support of the UN Agencies– the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) – will organize during this week a series of awareness and practical activities aimed at increasing the level of knowledge and preparedness of people in disaster situations.

„More than one billion persons in the world live with a disability. Early warning systems, public awareness campaigns and other responses often fail to consider the needs of persons with disabilities, putting them at an unnecessarily elevated risk and sending a harmful message of inequality. We can change this situation by including persons with disabilities in disaster resilience initiatives and policy planning”, said the UN Secretary General in his message on the ocasion of the  International Day for Disaster Reduction, annually marked on October 13.

The week-long campaign will include a simulation in the Cahul district in which people will be trained how to act in case of floods while the social assistants from the district will be trained how to provide aid to people in this situation. The Civil Protection and Emergency Situation Service will organize Open Gate days in Chișinău, Ungheni and Ștefan-Voda, and will award the winners of a drawing contest for children on disaster preparedness. The full programme of activities is attached.

The United Nations−Republic of Moldova Partnership Framework for 2013-2017 envisages support to the Moldovan Government to manage disaster risks. UN agencies – UNDP and UNICEF - provide help to central and local authorities to better respond to environmental challenges, including through awareness campaigns, policy work, capacity building and coordination mechanisms.

Since 2010, UNDP contributes to building the capacities of the Civil Protection and Emergency Situation Service (CPESS) in developing the first National Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction, managing disaster risks and including disaster and climate related issues into the local development strategies. In 10 out of 20 communities where risk assessments have been undertaken by the project, actions to prevent and reduce the vulnerability of communities to disasters have been carried out such as the creation of rainwater evacuation and collection systems and the fortification of dams around village lakes.

A UNICEF regional initiative contributed to reducing disaster risks and mitigating the impact on communities from the perspective of socio-economic vulnerability of communities, with an emphasis on families with children. The field work showed that the majority of the population is not aware of prevention and response measures in case of earthquaqes, floods, landslides, fire and other disasters. At the same time, people are indifferent about the needs of the others, and the rescue teams are prepared to mainly help vulnerable groups – children, old people and people with disabilities.  UNICEF piloted international evaluation methodology of people’s vulnerability to disasters in two districts  - Ungheni and Ștefan-Vodă – and carried out information and awareness raising activities.

The Republic of Moldova is exposed to the threat of natural disasters, including floods, landslides, droughts, frosts, and earthquakes. Given the climate change, these phenomena are expected to intensify in the coming years. The most vulnerable are poor families with children, especially in rural areas, who depend on agriculture and are not prepared to withstand these hazards. Annual losses caused by natural disassters constitute 0.9% of GDP and mainly threatens infrastructure, houses and public buildings.

Contact Information

Liliana Pușcașu, Press Service, Civil Protection and Emergency Situation Service, tel: 022 73 85 04, presa@dse.md

Ludmila Tiganu, Communications Specialist, UN, tel. 022 269 112, ludmila.tiganu@one.un.org

Irina Lipcanu, Media Officer, UNICEF, tel. 022 269 235, ilipcanu@unicef.org