UN Envoy: Iran’s Potential in Encountering Natural Disasters High
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – UN resident coordinator in Iran said on Saturday that the Islamic Republic enjoys a high capacity to react and respond to natural disasters in a timely manner.
Watching an earthquake drill in Iran’s southeastern Kerman province, Garry Lewis referred to Iran’s experience in encountering the natural disasters and said that such drills are quite effective in lowering the casualties and damage of such disasters.
He also referred to October 13 which is the UN International Day for Disaster Reduction, saying the theme of this year is assisting the diabled people who are the most vulnerable in the event of a natural disaster.
This year’s theme is Living with Disability and Disasters, which aims to indicate the abilities that disabled people offer in increasing resilience to disasters.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.
The United Nations General Assembly designated the second Wednesday of October as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction as part of its proclamation of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.
According to Iranian officials’ reports, 86 percent of Iran’s urban population lives on earthquake fault lines and 70 percent of natural disaster damages during the past decades have been caused by floods.
On the Global Seismic Hazard Map, Iran, which is crossed by two major fault lines, stands out as one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world. The country however, is not only exposed to earthquakes but also to frequent flash floods and recurrent droughts.
Over the last decade, UN agencies in Iran have also worked on a wide range of longer-term disaster risk management initiatives, including preparation of national guidelines for earthquake disaster management; establishment of the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES); development of an Integrated National Disaster Management Plan (INDMP); and capacity development for national disaster response and coordination.
A United Nations Resident Coordinator is the highest United Nations official and the chief of UN diplomatic mission in a country. It confers the same rank as an ambassador of a foreign state. The resident coordinator is the designated representative of the UN secretary general and leader of United Nations Country Team of Agencies such as the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization, and World Food Program.