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The Republic of Moldova is extremely vulnerable to climate change and disasters, with an annual average of economic losses of 2.13% of GDP. Disasters affect thousands of people, first of all women, who are more vulnerable and exposed and the population living in rural areas, where poverty is 7.5 times higher than in larger cities. The country will lose 10% of GDP per year through disasters with an annual probability of 0.5%. In the context of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, marked annually on 13 October, UNDP calls for actions and measures to prevent disasters and mitigate their consequences.

According to climate scenarios, the average temperature in Moldova is expected to rise by 2-3°C by the year 2050, which will generate more dramatic climatic phenomena and, respectively, will increase frequency and magnitude of climate-related disasters, such as drought, floods, hail and early frosts. This is precisely why UNDP contributes to enhancing the resilience and capacity of rural communities in Moldova to help them adapt to climate change and to natural or man-made disasters.

Thus, over the next two years, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation will help construct water storage basins to collect precipitations in five districts of Moldova. Smart and sustainable use of water resources for agriculture and fire fighting is a crucial measure in the context of a drought-prone country, as the Republic of Moldova is.

In the framework of the Reducing climate and disasters risks Project, ADA and UNDP will contribute to rehabilitation and equipment of local fire stations in five target communities and establishment of local fire and rescue volunteer teams. According to official statistics, about 1,700 fires were recorded in Moldova only last year, causing over 120 deaths, including children, and material loss of over 67 million MDL.

Within the same project, homes of about 1,000 socially vulnerable families in five target districts will be equipped with smoke detectors that can save lives. Together with the General Inspectorate for Emergencies, a broad information campaign on prevention, reduction and response to climate change and disaster risks will be conducted. Climate change adaptation priorities and disaster risk management will be integrated into the local development plans of the five communities, on participatory and gender-sensitive principles.

"There is need of increased awareness of disaster risks among the population and decision-makers, development of a culture of safety, prevention and preparedness of disasters. Only through concrete disaster risk reduction measures integrated into key sectors of development we can reduce the exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards,” notes Silvia Pana-Carp, Programme Analyst, UNDP Moldova.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction is marked worldwide since 2001, and in the Republic of Moldova since 2010.

Contact person: Natalia Costas, Communication and Public Relations Consultant. Tel.: 0 69 22 11 41; e-mail: natalia.costas@undp.org

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