The first meeting of the Disaster Response Committee (DRC), constituted by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, was held today at National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Headquarters in Islamabad. This committee has been established to ensure effective coordination between the Federal and Provincial Governments in the context of national disaster response efforts, especially during the monsoon season and its associated hazards and risks.
The meeting was aimed to discuss and streamline strategies for proactive response plans to mitigate the impacts of potential monsoon-related emergencies. Discussions encompassed a range of topics, including the current state of preparedness, resource allocation, early warning systems, and community engagement strategies.
The committee members also reviewed contingency plans including inter-agency communication, conducting joint training exercises and deploying resources to vulnerable regions to ensure a swift and coordinated response.

Chairman NDMA, Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik HI (M) briefed attendees about the projection by NDMA’s NEOC about monsoon season and said  that the establishment of the Disaster Response Committee is a pivotal step towards strengthening our national disaster management framework. As we approach the monsoon season, it is imperative that we are well-prepared to address any potential emergency. He underlined the significance of reviewing stock positions for monsoon contingencies which is essential to undertake tangible actions before disasters strike.

Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Mr. Ehsan Iqbal Chaudhry, (convener of the committee) presided the meeting and Mr. Ahsan Iqbal emphasized the critical importance of a cohesive and integrated approach to disaster management. He highlighted the need for robust coordination among all relevant stakeholders, including federal and provincial authorities, to ensure timely and effective response to any emergencies that may arise during the monsoon season.

The meeting was attended by senior officials from NDMA, Ministry of planning, Development and Special Initiatives, PDMAs, Representatives from the humanitarian sector and other key stakeholders.  The committee members also reviewed previous disaster response experiences to identify areas for improvement and to build on best practices.
The Minister instructed Provincial Governments to establish shelter spaces for livestocks and take stern actions against encroachments to mitigate threat of urban flooding. He also asked relevant Ministries to secure costly infrastructure including ICT, roads and communication infrastructure to safeguard them against potential risks. He directed PDMAs to prepare standardized response plans for effective disaster management. The Disaster Response Committee will continue to meet regularly to monitor progress and address any emerging challenges. NDMA, as the central coordinating body, will play a crucial role in facilitating these efforts and ensuring that all actions align with the national disaster management policy.