By Victor C. Hanson, Jr
The Ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has conducted a technical workshop to assist in the establishment of a National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The head of ECOWAS Disaster Risk Reduction, Mohammed Ibrahim, told journalists at the workshop held at a local hotel in Monrovia, that the rationale for establishing and strengthening National Platform in West Africa is based on the need to substantiate progress in implementing the ECOWAS Policy for disaster risk reduction in line with the HFA and the African Regional Programme.
Mr. Ibrahim said it is also a need for the ECOWAS Commission to encourage and promote National Platforms integrating disaster risk reduction, emergency response and climate change adaptation.
He stated that ECOWAS Commission is committed to the goals and aspiration of the people of West Africa, especially in the areas of peace, human security, social development, regional integration and economic growth.
Mr. Ibrahim said in recent years, the vulnerability of the West African population to natural and man-made disasters has continued to be overwhelmingly high. The increase occurrence and severity of these natural and man-made disasters have no doubt constituted negative impact on the economic, social, environmental and peaceful development of the region.
He added that in West Africa, the occurrence of natural and man-made disasters over the past three decades has continued to threaten the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); he also said disasters caused by natural and man-made event amount to limitation on development and the achievement of the goals of human security and welfare.
He concluded that it is believed that the meeting will provide an opportunity for promoting and strengthening network and collaboration between the ECOWAS Commission and ECOWAS National Platforms on DRR in West Africa.
For her part LRRRC Executive Director, Abla G. Williams, said the Kampala Convection was formulated for the protection and security of internally displaced people who fall victim to natural or man-made disasters within those various countries.
Director Williams mentioned that the national platform would reduce the risk of disaster in the wake of eminent climate change which is taking place in the country; such change often affects poor people who eventually became internally displaced.
She concluded that in pursuit of their respective responsibilities to the internally displaced persons, the LRRRC, and the National disaster Commission (NDC) continue to coordinate and develop plans to ensure that disasters are effectively controlled, managed, and to minimize the adverse effects on internal displacement in the country.