13th October is International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) – a day to promote a global culture of disaster risk-awareness and reduction. It encourages individuals, governments, and communities to take part in building disaster resilience nations and reducing exposure from disasters.
The theme for the year was – “Reducing Economics Losses from Disasters has the Power to Transform Lives”. IDDR events took place at various states and regions in Myanmar with the participation of government, media, UN agencies, NGOs, INGOs and civil society organisations (CSOs). BRAC Myanmar also participated at events that took place in Naypyitaw Union, Yangon Region and Bago Region.
As the National Level in Naypyitaw, IDDR was celebrated by the lead of Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement at Naypyitaw MICC-2. The opening speech was delivered by Vice President Henry Van Thio, who summarized to consider adding mandatory arrangements for Disaster Reduction and Emergency Response while implementing the country’s development plans. There was a photo exhibition from each participating organisation, which were catching the audiences’ attention on activities in Disaster Risk Reduction.
As the Regional Level in Yangon, the commemoration of IDDR was celebrated in Yangon Region Council of Ministry Office. Yangon Region Chief Minister, chairman and vice chairman of Yangon Ministry Office, lead ministers, National Disaster Management Committee, Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group (DRR working group) and social organisations attended the event. A total of around 400 participants were present at the event. Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein attended and delivered the opening speech. He highlighted the important role of Disaster Reduction, prevention and emergency response, as well as resettlement in both regional and national level.
Deputy Head of UNOCHA, Mr.Greg Puley delivered the opening speech on IDDR. Furthermore, there was a video screening of Myanmar’s damage over the years from disasters and also highlighting action plans on DRR. Photo exhibition, research papers, and Safe-Steps leaflets were also displayed.
In Bago Region, Chief Minister U Win Thein delivered the opening speech, and U Thein Htay Aung, Head of Department of Disaster Management mentioned about the partnership approach towards disaster management and the importance of active engagement of the public in disaster awareness programmes. In Bago, IDDR event was organized by BRAC Myanmar with the participation of Department of Disaster Management, government officials, students and teachers.