The Executive Director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Mr. Henry O. Williams says Liberia will succeed when the country’s disaster management program is successful.
Mr. Williams maintained that disaster management is key to the administration’s pro-poor agenda because the poor are the most vulnerable when disaster occurs.
The head of the NDMA made the remarks when the agency and its local and international partners met on April 25, 2018 in the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County to validate Liberia’s Multi-hazard Contingency Plan.
According to him, the disaster agency needs capacity building because “our local capacity is below the average” and said the input of development partners is important.
He further stated that finance is a key factor and called for coordination between his agency, local stakeholders and international partners. Also speaking at the one-day conference, Mr. Moses Massah, Programme Specialist at the United Nations Development Program-Liberia Office, said Liberia needs to prepare to prevent and respond to disaster.
Mr. Massah noted that preparedness would not stop disaster but could minimize its impact on the society, mainly the vulnerable citizens of the country.
The purpose of the Multi-hazard Contingency Plan, drawn out of the National Disaster Management Policy of 2017, is to enhance national and local capacity to minimize vulnerability and disaster risks, prevent, mitigate and prepare for adverse impacts of hazards within the context of sustainable development.
Part of the effort to enhance the resilience and reduce the vulnerability of the people of Liberia is the establishment of a National Early Warning and Emergency Operation Center (NEWEOC).
The center is aimed at facilitating early action and the execution of a timely and coordinated response to any disaster event or national emergency.
The one-day Buchanan validation conference brought together representatives of several government’s ministries and agencies and the United Nations Development Program, International Organization for Migration, World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program.-Press release