The Financial Express

Disaster impact assessment critical for minimising economic losses

| Updated: November 30, 2020 20:44:51

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Policymakers and disaster management experts have stressed the importance of Disaster Impact Assessment (DIA) tool in the planning process to minimise economic losses caused by disasters and ensure maximum benefits of development interventions.

They have also suggested linking up the DIA tool with the development of the government's project proposals.

The suggestions came at a national workshop on Disaster Impact Assessment (DIA) held in Dhaka on Sunday.

It was organised by the National Resilience Programme (NRP) and conducted by the Programming Division of the Planning Commission having a technical partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Addressing the workshop virtually as the chief guest, Planning Minister M Annan said, "The government of Bangladesh is actively considering the inclusion of DIA in project approval and implementation process."

He suggested making the tool simple and user-friendly so that planning officials can cope with this new tool easily.

The minister also suggested considering resilience from a broader perspective.

Additional Secretary of Planning Division Md Mosharaf Hossain chaired the event.

He underscored the need for an institutional arrangement to include the DIA tool in the planning process and necessary capacity building at all levels.

He also suggested introducing the DIA tool in the infrastructure sector, saying that its learning can be replicated in other sectors.

While speaking as the special guest, Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Md Mohsin said the feasibility study should include disaster and climate risks and the DIA tool should be included in the planning format soon.

Dr Nurun Nahar, Joint Chief, Programming Division and NRP Project Director, in her welcome remarks, said, "The DIA tool was the outcome of the directives given by the Prime Minister in 2016."

She also highlighted the process of DIA formulation since the inception of NRP in 2018.

Earlier, Professor Rezaur Rahman and Syeedul Huq, national consultants of NRP, presented the draft DIA framework and tools.

Among others, Khandker Ahsan Hossain, Chief of the Programming Division, and Md Khurshid Alam, Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, also spoke.

Representatives from different government and non-government agencies, development partners, and educational institutions took part in the workshop.

The National Resilience Programme (NRP) is a unique partnership between the government and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), that will provide strategic support to develop national capacity to keep pace with the changing nature of disasters, supported by SIDA and FCDO of the British government.

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