Side Event on Disaster Risk Management Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa
Date: 08 June 2015
Venue: Maputo - Mozambique

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Statistical, Economic, Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) organized a side event during the 40th Annual Meeting of the IDB Group, which was held in Maputo, Mozambique during 7-11 June 2015. The side event was held on 8 June 2015 with the theme of “Disaster Risk Management Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa”.

Despite significant progress in many countries in lowering risks and improving disaster preparedness and response capacities, the expanding and accelerating exposure of people and assets to natural disasters in countries that lack appropriate capacities for reducing and managing such risks is alarming. OIC member countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region are low-income countries with insufficient technical and financial capabilities. In these countries, prioritization of actions in institutional capacity development remains critical.

In this framework, the side event aimed to explore a number of issues related to capacity development including, among others: (i) The critical issues for institutional and technical capacity development for disaster risk management in low-income disaster-prone OIC member countries in SSA region; (ii) Actions to be taken to improve the capacities for disaster related data collection and information sharing; (iii) Roles that international partners can play for capacity development; (iv) Roles of NGO and universities in developing capacities at local level for better protection of poor and improving the knowledge base; (v) Possible mechanisms that can be developed by IDB and the member countries as part of their short as well as long-term financing strategy for disaster risk management.

The event aimed at raising awareness on the critical challenges that the OIC member countries in SSA faces in managing disasters and identifying actions in support of disaster risk management programs and sustainable development, particularly through prioritizing the needs of these countries with respect to capacity development. The event was also expected to provide the opportunity to intensify the efforts to consolidate partnership with relevant international governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as the development agencies and financial institutions to address the capacity development needs of the member countries.

The side event started with opening remarks by Mr. Sayed Aqa, Vice President of IDB and Amb. Musa Kulaklıkaya, Director General of SESRIC. Then, Dr. Kenan Bağcı, Senior Researcher at SESRIC, presented the key findings of the report on “Managing Disasters and Conflicts in OIC Countries” and a short presentation on the “Disaster Risk Management Challenges in OIC Countries in the SSA Region”. Dr. Azhari G. Ahmed, Lead Economist at IDB, provided some brief information about the activities of IDB on disaster risk management in the member countries. This was followed by the panel session discussion, moderated by Dr. Abdul Hakim Al-Waer, Director of Cooperation and Integration Department at IDB.

Panel session hosted speakers from different backgrounds. Khadim Diop, Minister for African Integration, NEPAD and the Promotion of Good Governance (Senegal); Mikdat Kadıoğlu, Professor at Istanbul Technical University, Centre of Excellence for Disaster Management (Turkey); Mauricio Xerinda, National Institute for Disaster Management (Mozambique); and Animesh Kumar, Deputy Regional Director (UNISDR Africa Office) were the key panellists of the session. They shared their experiences and perspectives on how to address the challenges of DRM in the concerned countries.

SESRIC also informed the participants about the newly initiated capacity building program on DRM and invited all member countries to support this initiative.

The side event ended with a Q&A session and wrap-up.