A "vulnerability to resilience (V2R) project" aimed at capacity building of the people for an emergency response to natural calamities and other disasters has been launched in Azad Kashmir.
Initially, the project has been launched in four districts including Bagh, Neelum, Jehlum and Sadhnoti with the collaboration of National Disaster Risk Management Fund and Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) National Headquarters, and later, its scope will be expanded to other districts.
Unveiling V2R project here on Thursday, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan said that after every natural calamity, valiant people of the liberated territory have proved their unprecedented spirit by providing relief to the affected people.
He said that during and after the 2005 earthquake, PRCS Azad Kashmir chapter had extended appreciable services to cope with the disaster and it has also played an important role to prepare the people for emergency response.
He said that side by side with the people, the capacity building of the concerned government agencies was also inevitable to effectively respond to any disaster. It is a good omen that despite resource constraint, PRCS Azad Kashmir chapter is determined to impart training of disaster response to a vast section of the population in target areas. He assured the government's forthright support to PRCS in this noble task.
The AJK president said that new strategies and techniques of emergency response were being introduced in the world, and these were needed to be adopted in the liberated territory also.
He said that Azad Kashmir was located on the fault lines of particularly earthquakes, floods, climate change and drought. Therefore, we need to ensure necessary preventive measures to reduce the risk and to protect human lives from its adverse effects.
He stressed the need for close coordination among the government and semi-government agencies as well as community organizations so that all stakeholders respond to any untoward situation in a consolidated manner.
Sardar Masood Khan expressed gratitude to PRCS particularly its Azad Kashmir chapter for launching this disaster management project in the liberated territory. He said that the state government would continue to patronize organizations like PRCS.
Speaking on the occasion, PRCS Chairman Sayeed Illahi said that Pakistan and Azad Kashmir were like a single human body and were thus a single entity intertwined with deep bonds of love, fraternity and brotherhood. Relief to the people of Azad Kashmir is the top priority of the PRCS.
He said that the people of Azad Kashmir were valiant and courageous, and the project had been launched for their capacity building to respond to natural disasters on scientific lines. The PRCS has already imparted first aid training to 61,000 people of Azad Kashmir, and our target is that every home in the state should have at least one trained first aid worker by 2030.
The PRCS chief said that under the youth welfare program, the society had trained 19,000 youth to respond to any emergency, and the program was still continuing.
The ceremony was also addressed by Chairman PRCS Azad Kashmir Dr Sardar Mehmood Khan, secretary general PRCS and other speakers.