Dear Director Cako,

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to address you today in this activity that brings together professionals from different sectors to contribute to the Disaster Risk Management in Albania.

At UNDP we are very pleased to partner with the National Agency of Civil Protection to support important DRR processes in the country. The Capacity assessment exercise we are going thru outlines key priority areas to build a more resilient Albanian society in much the same way as the Sendai Framework. Our goals are to enhance whole-of-society collaboration; improve the understanding of disaster risks in all sectors of society; and increase focus on prevention and mitigation this is why the next step in the process will be introduction of the national platform on DRR. Strengthening the landscape of the National Platform is a pre-condition for effective implementation of the Sendai Framework at national and regional level, including through the coordination of DRR with the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction. While having these solid grounds and partnerships we will advance the work with all of you and under the leadership of the Agency to develop the DRR strategy.

Disaster Risk Reduction is all about governance and you can measure good disaster risk governance in lives saved, reduced numbers of disaster-affected people and reduced economic losses. COVID-19 and the climate emergency are telling us that we need clear vision, plans and competent, empowered institutions acting on scientific evidence for the public good. This requires having national and local strategies for DRR in place to address not just single hazards like seismic, floods and storms but those that respond to systemic risk generated by zoonotic diseases, climate shocks and environmental breakdown.

This year more than ever we have realized that nothing undermines sustainable development like a disaster. Risk is becoming increasingly systemic and connected, requiring an equally joined-up response. Thus, we stand ready to further support the agency and the DRR system in Albania to strengthen preparedness to include risk in all development actions to make sure hazards of all kinds including pandemics do not become disasters – Prevention saves lives!

Ms. Limya Eltayeb,

UNDP Albania Resident Representative 

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