ISLAMABAD – Several international organisations have joined hands with Pakistan to strengthen its capability to deal with natural as well as manmade disasters.

At the conclusion of a week-long campaign launched by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) Islamabad campus and Network for Human and Social Development  (NHSD) here, the US-based Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS), the UK-based Islamic Relief, Save the Children, and Oxfam promised to offer technical and financial assistance for the capacity building of Pakistani organisations.

The international NGOs also committed to providing trainings in order to share expertise of disaster management with the personnel of different local organisations, students and general public for raising awareness about tackling disasters.

Addressing the closing ceremony of the campaign here at SZABIST’s Islamabad campus Todd Shea Executive Director CDRS said that in a country like Pakistan, which is threatened by natural and manmade disasters every citizen should be trained to deal with the crisis.

Shea who has been working in Pakistan since the October 2005 earthquake recalled that Pakistani masses were strongly determined and motivated to help quake victims but they lacked the required know-how to deal with the eventuality.

He said the aim of international organisations joining hand with Pakistani organizations including SZABIST, National Disaster Management Authority  (NDMA), Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) and NHSD is to attract people from cross section particularly students towards learning disaster management strategies. Country Director Islamic Relief Pakistan Dr. Fayyaz Ahmad said that Pakistan has a lot of resources, which if organised properly and utilised effectively can enable the country to deal with even the worst crisis.

Director SZABIST Islamabad Campus Syed Asad Hussain said that dealing with disaster timely and effectively is not only imperative to protect human lives but also the national economy as any crisis he added directly or indirectly affects economic conditions and bring problems for masses.

During the weeklong campaign, national and international organizations organized a two-day exhibition at the campus to create disaster risk management awareness, which was attended by a large number of people including doctors, Information technology experts, bankers, and students from different colleges and universities.

Different stalls were set up at the exhibition, which included a stall for the counseling of people affected by disasters, self-rescue teaching methods and a stall of handicraft items made by the disaster affected people.