The UN Special Representative distributes certificates to 250 municipalities that participated in the World Disaster Risk Reduction Campaign

18 Oct 2012


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The National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS), in partnership with the United Nations and the Disaster Risk Reduction unit at the Prime Minister’s office, organized today, at the Grand Serail, a certificate distribution ceremony to 250 municipalities approximately and union in Lebanon which joined the World Disaster Campaign “My City is Getting Ready”. 

The ceremony was attended by Mr. Khalil Hajal, the Director General for municipalities, representing H.E. Minister of Interior and Municipalities Mr. Marwan Charbel, Ms Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Luca Renda, UNDP Country Director, representing UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Robert Watkins, Ms. Heba Hage Felder, Head of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Office, mayors and many municipalities’ representatives. 

Mr. Khalil Hajal opened the floor by thanking all parties for their hard work and commitment during the workshop. He added: “the municipalities are the decentralized units that play a very responsible and effective role in the Disaster Risk Reduction”. 

“We strongly encourage the adoption of the law on DRM unit and appreciate that the prime minister office and the parliamentary committee concerned for making this a priority issue” stated Ms. Heba Hage Felder.

In a brief note, Mr. Luca Renda said that over 257 municipalities and unions from all Governorates of Lebanon have signed up to the campaign. “This shows a great commitment of Lebanon considering that around the world the total number of municipalities which have signed up is 1,100”. 

Closing the ceremony and the workshop, Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom was pleased and impressed by the level of commitment to build resilience at all levels in Lebanon. She added: “still much needs to be done in terms of allocating dedicated resources and capacities or disaster risk reduction in local government budgets. Yet with the focused vision and steps undertaken so far, the path to local resilience in Lebanon is being paved and crafted by all of you”. 

After that, the municipalities that joined the World Disaster Campaign “My City is Getting Ready” received awarding certificates for their participation. 

UNDP – Disaster Risk reduction unit – organized a workshop to build the capacity of the municipalities which are considered a key point in strengthening the capacity of the Lebanese government in Disaster Risk Reduction. The programme also supported 250 municipalities from across Lebanon to the global campaign “My City is Getting Ready”, which aims to mobilize actors parties to play their role in these municipalities in investing in disaster risk reduction. 

In this context, the Municipality of Byblos and the Municipality of Baalbeck have exchanged experiences and learned lessons with respectively the municipality of Venice and the Municipality of Geneva. 

Byblos Municipality also organized a two day workshop to discuss the best practices and the practical measures to disaster risk reduction. They also emphasized on the importance of protecting the cultural heritage from natural disasters and enhancing cooperation between various ministries that are directly related to this subject such as the Ministry of Environment and Culture.