Support to PM Office - Strengthening Disaster Risk Management Capacities in Lebanon
Lebanon is subject to a wide range of natural hazards, the biggest threat being of a severe earthquake and/or an associated Tsunami. Smaller-scale disasters which the country also faces include floods, forest fires, land-slides and drought. Recent assessments also show that the vulnerability of the Lebanese population to both large and small-scale disasters is compounded by the following factors:
a) Limited presence of the government ministries in peripheral regions;
b) Haphazard housing and unchecked urban expansion;
c) Lack of enforcement of building codes;
d) Lack of regulation of land use; and
e) A range of environmental factors.
In addition, the study on “Primary Needs Assessment for Disaster Risk Management” commissioned by UNDP concluded that in Lebanon, most resources are often directed at relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts and not enough at prevention and disaster risk reduction. It also highlighted the lack of a national functioning disaster management plan, as well as the absence of a functioning authority actively working towards developing disaster risk reduction initiatives. The lack of effective coordination among key institutions engaged in disaster response and management was also identified as a key factor in strengthening the capacity of the Government of Lebanon in this area. Accordingly, In May 2009, UNDP and the Lebanese Government represented by the Prime Minister signed a project document on “Strengthening Disaster Risk Management Capacities in Lebanon”. The three year project aims to help the Lebanese Government develop its disaster management and corresponding risk reduction strategy.
Achievements & Expected Results
The DRM project focuses on building institutional capacity for disaster risk reduction and management in the Prime Minister’s Office:
- A new Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Unit at the PMO was established.
- The project will be supporting a national risk assessment for the country, and as a first step, is completing a comprehensive inventory of existing frameworks, assessments, and expertise in DRR.
- The project will also support the establishment of a new institutional framework for DRR (on the basis of the existing HRC) and the strengthening of national response to disasters, through the consolidation of existing disaster plans into a unified framework.