Regional Education and Research Center on
We are Focused on
Disaster Risk Mitigation
and Management in West
and Central of Asia
The countries located in West and Central Asia have been, throughout their history, exposed to devastating natural hazards with geophysical or hydro-metrological origins. Of most important perils that have affected these countries over the past decades, earthquakes could be distinguished. In order to respond and enhance the degree of preparedness for the impacts of earthquakes, different measures have been taken into account by national and local governments by now. However, there are still many activities that should be addressed for capacity building in these countries for earthquake risk mitigation and management. Among the priority activities for improving the emergency response, developing Rapid Loss Estimation Systems (RLES) is of utmost importance. RLES by providing an initial estimation of fatalities and severity of damages helps the disaster management authorities to appropriately allocate available resources. This issue has significant impact on reducing the number of deaths and secondary damages especially in the first 24 hours after the event (The Golden Time). Having a look on earthquakes occurred in the region during the last decades depicts the importance of developing RLES. For instance after the 1999, Kocaeli, Turkey earthquake, the central government was not aware of the severity and scale of the damage until several hours after the event. In Rudbar-Manjil 1990, Iran earthquake, the search and rescue teams were unaware about the most affected sites for some days, due to initial wrong information provided regarding epicenter of the event and difficulties in identification of damaged area. These issues caused further casualties and irreversible socio-economic consequences. Similar issues are reported about Bam, Iran Earthquake (2003), Spitak, Armenia Earthquake (1988), Ashgabat, Turkmenistan Earthquake (1948) and many other events. In order to evaluate the current situation of earthquake monitoring systems and damage assessment tools in the West and Central Asia, a project was formulated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) considering its essential responsibility in assisting countries to respond to disasters. The project falls under the first thematic area “Disaster Risk Financing for Early-Action”. Within the framework of that project entitled ‘Feasibility study Establishment of Regional Earthquake Monitoring Systems (REMS) and developing quick damage and loss assessment system in Central and West Asia”, UNESCO selected the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES) and Regional Education and Research Center on Earthquake Risk Management and Resilience for West and Central Asia, as consultants for implementing the project in collaboration with other states in the region. Accordingly, having a look on the seismicity of different countries located in the West and Central Asia, the available earthquake monitoring systems and damage and loss assessment tools in these countries were assessed, based on the existing data as well as information provided by some member states. In addition, the shortages and benefits of available systems were addressed and finally the necessary measures and needs for developing regional quick damage and loss assessment systems were introduced. This will be an essential step for rapid response after earthquake that has a crucial impact on reducing casualties and damage of earthquakes. For more information, please contact us.
People with disabilities often face different physical barriers, communication problems, or other issues that may prevent them to behave properly in emergency conditions. For example, during an earthquake, children usually take shelter under school desks or benches, but such reactions are impossible for those on wheelchairs. Similarly, children with hearing or vision impairments may also not be able to recognize warnings and cannot evacuate dangerous places, in time. Many children with mental disorders have also no perception about dangers and warnings, and as a result they could be exposed to additional difficulties at the time of crisis. In addition, these children cannot appropriately use the available services and supports provided by emergency response teams. Therefore, when an earthquake occurs, people with disabilities are more at risk and suffer more difficulties than other sections of the society. In order to reduce the effects of earthquakes on PWD, it is necessary to improve their preparedness to face possible dangers and challenges in disasters. In this regard, development of appropriate disaster risk management guidelines and programs is essential. This is also indicated in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). That document emphasizes the necessity of empowerment of people with disabilities, and governments are responsible to provide equal opportunities for PWD to enable them to participate in the design and implementation of disaster risk reduction policies and plans. Considering the importance of improving the preparedness of children with disabilities to face earthquakes, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), defined a project entitled “Comprehensive earthquake preparedness education plan for children with special needs and disabilities” and the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), and the UNESCO Category 2 Regional Center for Risk and Resilience in West and Central Asia (RCECWA) were selected as the project’s consultants. In the framework of that project, some guidelines were prepared to address challenges of children with different types of disabilities before to after an earthquake. For this purpose, different measures that should be considered in risk reduction, preparedness, emergency response as well as recovery and reconstruction were outlined into different guidelines for care givers, trainers and relevant stakeholders. For further information please contact us.
In the last decades, various natural disasters occurred in the West and Central Asia, some of which caused significant casualties and damages. In most of these events, the social and economic effects and impacts of disasters persisted for several years after the incident. On the other hand, lack of data about the effects and consequences of natural disasters was always a serious obstacle in recovery and reconstruction planning. To address this issue, the needs for developing Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) guidelines can be highlighted. PDNA is a government-led exercise that estimates post-disaster damage and losses across all sectors of the economy as well as the recovery, relief, reconstruction, and risk management needs. PDNA also provides guidance to the government and international donor community on the country’s short, medium, and long term recovery priorities. In other words, PDNA assists governments with assessing the full extent of a disaster’s impact and, on the basis of these findings, to produce an actionable and sustainable Recovery Strategy for mobilizing financial and technical resources. The internationally recognized PDNA methodology is articulated by the European Union, along with the United Nations and the World Bank in the context of “The joint Declaration on Post-Crisis Assessments and Recovery Planning”. Accordingly, in 2010 the UN, World Bank and EU have prepared practical guidelines to assist country governments by streamlining the universal templates for formulating PDNA. This will augment capacity development in governments and lay down standard operating procedures for the engagement of international entities for post-disaster needs assessments and recovery frameworks. In addition, the European Union, the United Nations and the World Bank supported the development of a Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF) which builds upon the information generated through the PDNA. The DRF defines the vision for recovery, specifying objectives and interventions for each sector and affected region. It serves as a means for prioritizing, sequencing, planning and implementing recovery. The DRF aims to bring international and national stakeholders together behind a single, government-led recovery effort while ensuring that the goals of the recovery process are aligned with the overall development plans of the country. Although standards guidelines for PDNA have been developed by the United Nations, EU and The World Bank, but they should be adopted based on local conditions for each sector at each country. For this purpose, IIEES and RCECWA have developed National PDNA Guideline for 19 sectors for Iran. These experiences can be shared with other countries located in the West and Central Asia. For more information please contact us.