13 October 2011
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 13 October 2011. — Regional civil protection training centres of the Ministry of Emergency Situations in Karakalpakstan, Andijan, Surkhandarya and Khorezm regions have received ‘Damas’ mini-vans from UNICEF today. This will support centres’ community outreach interventions to ensure better preparedness and protection of children and their families against disasters.
The hand-over took place at the Ministry of Emergency Situations with participation of high-level officials from the Ministry and UNICEF, marking the International Day for Disaster Reduction in Uzbekistan. This year the day is observed under the theme «Making Children and Young People Partners for Disaster Risk Reduction». It stresses the importance of prevention and advocacy work among children and young people, who are most at risk of becoming victims of natural, environmental and technological disasters, and encourages them to get involved in disaster reduction and decision making.
«Protecting children from disasters and creating a safe environment for them is a global UNICEF priority and one of the critical elements of the current UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation with Uzbekistan," said UNICEF Representative Jean-Michel Delmotte. «The results of our joint efforts on disaster risk reduction are very encouraging. We see that children can become real agents of change in this area. They help spread awareness on natural disasters and associated risks among their parents and communities and even teach them what measures to take in the event of disaster».
As a result of a four-year partnership among UNICEF, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and other governmental and non-governmental partners, more than 5,000 teachers from 13 regions of Uzbekistan have increased their awareness on natural disasters. The teachers were also trained on methods to cope with hazards and provided with necessary educational and information materials. 350,000 children and their parents are now better aware of natural hazards and related risks, and know how to prepare themselves and their families to potential disasters as well as act properly in case of emergencies.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Khakimjon Abdulazizov noted successful partnership with UNICEF in the area of population preparedness to disasters. Expressing appreciation to UNICEF for its contribution to disaster risk reduction activities in Uzbekistan, Mr. Abdulazizov emphasized that the ministry remains committed to strengthening and expanding the current collaboration.
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