SKARDU – Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC) in collaboration with German Red Cross (GRC) has undertaken special efforts to provide assistance to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, more prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, frequent landslides, avalanches, flash floods and GLOF.

Over 15,000 residents in 10 villages of Shigar Valley will benefit from Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation program.

This was stated by the Chairman PRC Dr Saeed Elahi during the launch of DRR and Climate Change Adaptation program here today.

Dr Saeed Elahi said that Pakistan is adversely affected by both natural, man-made disasters and climate change, this off the course calls forth dire need of building disaster resilience capacity of residents so that they could better cope up with disaster effects and help themselves before the arrival of external aid.

“This is why PRC has been investing time and money to incapacitate potential affectees to be better prepared to withstand with disaster impacts”, said Saeed Elahi.

He said that PRC being the largest Humanitarian Organization in the country has a mandate to complement disaster response efforts of Government, PRC provincial branch was established in 2007 at Gilgit which has so far successfully responded to disasters occurring in the region.

Dr Saeed said that PRC has already offered to Director General GB DMA for propositioning of Disaster Preparedness stock (NFIs) for 200 families in forward locations of 10 most vulnerable districts of GB besides PRC’s available stock at PHQ and district branch Skardu. This would help in initiating a prompt and timely joint response event of a disaster.

Speaking at the occasion, Senior Minister GB Haji Akbar Taban said that PRC and GRC projects such as DRR and Climate Change Adaptation are the dire need of vulnerable people living in disaster-prone areas of GB.

“It is matter of immense satisfaction for me that today this project is being launched and I assure that PRC will have the full support of GB government for the implementation of this project”, he said.

While expressing his thoughts, Secretary General PRC Ghulam Muhammad Awan said that another project with the financial support of CRC of CAD 2.3 million is already being implemented for capacity building of PHQ-GB and communities of Ghizer District.

He requested to all concerned state departments to facilitate PRC’s provincial and district branch in every possible manner during the implementation of this project. “Needless to say that without close coordination of all stakeholders especially states departments, the success of a project is far cry”, he added.