Enhancing Disaster Risk Management: UNDP Facilitates China - Ethiopia Collaboration
A high level Chinese government delegation has visited Ethiopia to explore ways to strengthen the collaboration between the two countries on disaster risk management (DRM).
The emphasis on DRM comes about from recognition that drought, one of the most predominantly recurring disasters in large parts of Africa and Asia, still has a severely negative impact on a nation’s long-term socio-economic welfare and the stability of its people’s livelihood.
During the visit to Addis Ababa on 30th April 2014, the Chinese mission, that included members of the Chinese Academy of Science, explored ideas for further follow up with the discussion focusing on piloting Chinese disaster risk management techniques and technology. In the short term, the visit served to identify several areas of interest for collaboration such as developing the capacity of Ethiopian professionals through the African Centre for Disaster Risk Management, assessing new technologies to enhance soil testing for drylands management and fostering technology transfer between Ethiopia and China. Some ideas for long-term collaboration revolved around introducing innovative agricultural technologies, including farmland management and introduction of solar and wind energy based solutions, and testing new ICT tools for disaster assessment and prediction.
The South-South Cooperation visit between China and Ethiopia was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which uses its position as a knowledge broker to promote cooperation, enable exchange visits, and support interventions targeted at capacity development.
The visiting Chinese delegation complimented the commitment and efforts of Ethiopian government to boost resilience. They also commended the depth of the partnership between the Government and the UNDP around interventions on disaster risk management and the emphasis on community-based disaster risk management methodology.
South-South cooperation is increasingly looking towards exploring and promoting innovative solutions generated in the south. China is one of the key players in scaling up South-South cooperation and in recent years the country has demonstrated a keen interest to take the lead on inter-regional cooperation and technology transfer for disaster risk management.
This current fact finding mission to Ethiopia follows two exchange visits between China and Ethiopia to collect best practices on agricultural transformation. UNDP Ethiopia had also facilitated the Government of Ethiopia’s participation at the Africa-Asia Drought Adaptation Forum held in 2012 and 2013.
The Government of Ethiopia is strengthening its efforts to combat climate change impacts and intensify disaster risk management efforts and in July 2013 approved the e revised DRM policy. Ethiopia has also finalised DRM Strategic Programme and Investment Framework, which will provide support for developing a contingency plan for the most hazard prone areas of the country.
UNDP has an extensive DRM engagement in Ethiopia and supports various initiatives that complement the country’s efforts to ensure substantial reduction of disaster risks and also enhance the implementation capacity of programmes at community level.