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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pune NGO wins award at UN world conference

SENDAI: A Pune-based non-governmental organization has won the 2015 Risk Award and a grant of 100,000 at the UN's 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction here on Monday, competing from among 145 applicants from 60 countries.

The winner, All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG), has been working in a community of 25,000 people in ten slums of Pune.

Shweta Gupta, project coordinator of the NGO who received the award, said it will help train more cadres of community volunteers as master trainers in disaster risk management.

"We will place particular emphasis on mobilizing women and developing child-friendly information, education and communication tools," she said.

The UN's six-day world conference on disaster risk reduction (DRR) is meeting here to sign the new framework for 190 UN member countries that will replace the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).

The HFA was signed in 2005 after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, laying guidelines for member countries to legislate DRR laws to mitigate disaster losses - both economic and human lives.

Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Margareta Wahlstrom appreciated the efforts of Pune-based NGO, in particular its focus on women and children.

"The AIILSG is a worthy winner of this award and is tackling one of the most pressing issues of our times, rapid urbanization and its consequences for impoverished people living in informal settlements," she said, lauding the strategy of the NGO focusing on women and children whose needs are often overlooked in disaster risk management.

Applicants for the award included 19 from science and academia, 19 governmental representatives and public authorities and 99 from NGOs.

The UNISDR is also pushing for more women participation in DRR activities all across the globe. The new framework for action is likely to emphasise on including women in decision making for DRR initiatives and policy-making by governments.

There are more funds now available for DRR initiatives. The World Bank and the UK government jointly launched a new competitive challenge fund on Monday that would help poor nations - those hit by disasters like floods, cyclones, droughts and earthquakes - to empower their local communities.

The fund will help developing countries design and implement ground-breaking solutions to overcome problems they face assessing disaster risks.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Pune-NGO-wins-award-at-UN-world-conference/articleshow/46594011.cms

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