By Khulile Thwala
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) has solicited partners in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The partnership, which will bolster the implementation of a project aimed at bolstering disaster risk coordination for effective disaster preparedness and response, is sponsored by BMZ to the tune of E58.1 million.
Recently, the SADC/GIZ Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM) Project Steering Committee (PSC) held its second meeting on March 29, 2023, in Gaborone, Botswana.
The purpose of the meeting was to review progress and provide guidance on the implementation of the project, as well as reflect on engagement actions between SADC and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Globally, the GIDRM aims to strengthen risk-informed development in Southern Africa, Asia, and Latin America in collaboration with partners.
In SADC, the project aims to strengthen the SADC-Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Unit as a component service provider for the inclusion of gender-responsive and Risk-Informed Development (RID)-based approaches in development activities and to apply risk-informed development interventions in the water and agriculture sectors.
This is in conjunction with technical cooperation projects implemented in partnership with the SADC Secretariat or within the SADC Region. The project is critical in supporting the SADC’s regional integration agenda in disaster risk management as the region continues to be affected by several natural disasters with many incidents largely affecting all Member States.
The outcomes of the Project Steering Committee will be presented to the Technical Committee on Disaster, which will escalate the findings to the SADC Committee of Ministers responsible for Disaster Risk Management during its next seating.
GIZ Country Director for Botswana and SADC, Daniel Bagwitz confirmed the organisation’s commitment to achieving the programme’s mandate, which he said was better linked with the vision and goals of collaborating partners.
The Director of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources at the SADC Secretariat Domingos Gove reaffirmed SADC’s willingness to continue to work with partners in finding ways to mitigate Disaster and Risks, which have become a major challenge in the region, and emphasised that the project was essential in assisting SADC to implement actions to strengthen risk management systems.
SADC also has a disaster preparedness and response strategy and fund from 2016 to 2030. The aim is for enhancing coordination for effective disaster preparedness and response and resilience and outline the preparedness and response strategy and fund for the SADC region (hereinafter referred to as the Strategy and Fund) to facilitate coordinated support for SADC Member States when they are overwhelmed by a disaster event.