ESCAP and GIZ: New cooperation to strengthen disaster early warning in Asia-Pacific

satellite image of the island of Phuket before the tsunami hit
Natural color Landsat 7 ETM satellite image shows Phuket island before the tsunami wave hit the west coast on December 26, 2004
Credits: NASA

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) agreed on a 500,000 Euro investment from Germany to support early warning systems for disasters in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.

The Asia-Pacific region is highly vulnerable to coastal hazards such as tropical storms, storm surges, flooding and tsunamis. After the tsunami in 2004 ESCAP created a Trust Fund in order to support activities that build resilience, most of all through effective early warning systems.The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System and the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) were established to strengthen early warning systems at the national and local levels.There have been many other efforts in regional collaboration and capacity building, which will be further deepened with the new investment. 

The contribution is part of the newly launched Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM). The initiative is coordinated by GIZ and ESCAP is one of the major partners. The project aims to bring together all relevant stakeholders from Germany and the Asia-Pacific region so as to create a forum for collaboration in Disaster Risk Management.