NDRMF to launch Rescue 1122 in erstwhile FATA, GB areas: Zartaj

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 21 (APP):Minister of State for Climate Change Friday said the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) was going to launch Rescue 1122 service in the newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB).

She made these remarks at her visit to NDRMF and lauded the efforts made by the fund to develop a transparent and independent authority working in the field of early disaster warning, disaster risk reduction and management.

Zartaj said the erstwhile FATA and GB lacked any rescue and relief service in their areas where this initiative would provide them modern and latest facilities in case of emergency and disasters.

She said the fund was closely working with the Ministry of Climate Change on developing Eco-System Restoration Fund and 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project whereas around 19 different projects of NDRMF were in the implementation process across the country.

The minister of state was given a presentation and briefing on the activities and progress of the Fund by Chief Executive Officer NDRMF, Lieutenant General (R) Nadeem Ahmed.

The Fund was financing projects for provincial governments and non-public sector partners through a 70 percent financial grant in the areas of flood protection infrastructure, early warning systems, retrofitting of public infrastructure, multi-hazard vulnerability risk assessments and community based disaster risk management.

The State Minister for Climate Change appreciated that the Fund had disbursed Billions of Rupees in critical project financing in a period of just one year. The Fund has also helped to build the capacity of provincial governments and relevant departments and proven its track record of efficiently and transparently disbursing funds for major projects.

She claimed that the Fund has proven its credibility by initially securing funding from the Asian Development Bank and subsequently being chosen to host the upcoming Ecosystem Restoration Initiative to be funded by the World Bank. The trust of reputed donors in government-owned institutions like NDRMF was a good sign for the economy and a milestone for public sector governance in Pakistan.

Zartaj noted that Eco-System Restoration Fund would not only help to revive ecology, wildlife and habitats rather would help discover new tourism sites. “I would like to propose Fort Munro of Dera Ghazi Khan to be incorporated in the Restoration Fund project so that a potential tourism spot with a historic background could be restored with the vision to boost new tourism sites,” she added.

The NDRMF was a credible institution that had developed itself from scratch in just 15 months and received its funding from Asian Development Bank and World Bank that proved its competence and transparency, she maintained.

NDRMF has approved project financing for implementation partners with the aim to enhance Pakistan’s resilience to climatic hazards and natural disasters. These include the upgradation of Rescue 1122 services in various parts of the country, early warning systems for tsunamis, critical flood protection infrastructure, and water conservation structures to protect against droughts.

The fund has also drafted a Disaster Risk Finance strategy to protect Pakistan against financial losses from disasters, which is a unique achievement for the government and in-line with similar efforts in most advances countries of the world.

CEO NDRMF Lt Gen (R) Nadeem Ahmed said due to NDRMF’s strict compliances and strenuous project appraisal mechanisms the Fund was selected to host the World Bank’s upcoming Ecosystem Restoration Initiative.

“NDRMF will now also finance projects related to water recharge, marine life and blue economy, biodiversity and land degradation, afforestation and e-vehicles. The Fund will also provide funding for the Prime Minister’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami, which is a flagship project for the current government with international acclaim,” he added.