Islamabad-The Guidelines for Multi-Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) prepared by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) were formally launched in a ceremony held here the other day.

While Briefing the audience on MIRA Guidelines, Member Operations NDMA, Brig Mukhtar Ahmed said that, MIRA is a globally accepted tool for scientific, quick and accurate disaster assessment. It is an inter-agency needs assessment and analysis process, from which a joint strategic plan for emergency response is developed.

MIRA Guidelines for Pakistan is a comprehensive document developed according to the international standards keeping in view the local cultural and socials requirements.

These Guidelines would strengthen Pakistan’s Disaster Management System by providing a tool for scientific, quick, accurate and timely assessment of losses caused by disasters. It would also be helpful in initiating an effective, efficient and timely relief operation on the basis of modern assessment tools and methodologies like Multi-sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA).

Chairman NDMA Lt General Omar Mahmood Hayat in his keynote address observed that Pakistan was vulnerable to extreme weather events and prone to all type of related hazards whether natural or human induced.

He reiterated that NDMA was mandated as well as committed to develop a sustainable operational capacity and professional competence at national level to undertake humanitarian operations at full capacity.

He said that to ensure harmonization and enhance coordination in disaster management activities, NDMA has developed a National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP), various policies, guidelines, SOPs and toolkits. He said that MIRA Guidelines was another addition to this bouquet and hoped that through timely conduct of MIRA, the decision makers and other humanitarian organizations will be able to accurately assess the on ground dynamics and realities of a post disaster situation and initiate timely action.

United Nations Coordinator in Pakistan, Neil Buhne while addressing the ceremony said that it is heartening to mention that Pakistan is amongst Countries to adapt MIRA Guidelines. He observed that Pakistan over the years have moved from reactive to proactive disaster management approach. He said that UN appreciates Pakistan’s role in DRM and said that international community has learnt a lot from Pakistan’s experience in Disaster Management.

At the end Chairman NDMA extend his appreciations to all NDMA’s partners, Provincial/Regional Disaster Management Authorities, UN Agencies, members of the humanitarian community and all stakeholders who provided invaluable input and feedback to help improve these guidelines.

Neil Buhne; United Nations Resident Coordinator, Heli, Uusikyla; Country Head UNOCHA, Senior representative from Federal Ministries, Divisions, Departments, Director Generals of all Disasters Management Authorities (DMAs), Representatives of NGOs and INGOs, participated in the launching ceremony of the MIRA Guideline.