UNDP Administrator Remarks on Post Disaster Needs Assessment

10 Sep 2010

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark Remarks

Presentation of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment

Chisinau, Moldova 10 September 2010

Thank you for inviting me today to this presentation of the results of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment.

Let me first express my deepest sympathies with the thousands of people who were affected by the recent flood events and the hundreds of families who have lost their homes and livelihoods, with some of them not being able to return to their villages at all.

Disasters like this require an immediate and determined response by authorities at all levels and I commend the government, along with all partners, for their quick response and concerted efforts in addressing the immediate needs of those affected. The Post Disaster Needs Assessment was the next crucial step in valuating the damages and losses and identifying short and medium term recovery and reconstruction needs in the affected regions and sectors. The assessment we were presented with today therefore aims at enabling an informed, coordinated, and effective response to the current disaster.

The successful preparation of this PDNA development once again confirms the importance of effective coordination in undertaking such an important exercise.

I’m both talking about co-ordination between the government and development partners, as well as among development partners themselves. Here I have in mind the joint effort of the World Bank, UN and EU in supporting the government in this endeavour.

As we have just heard from the State Minister, the short and medium term recovery and reconstruction needs are estimated at US$ 75 million.

It is important that development partners join hands in assisting the government to address those recovery and reconstruction need.

This may require leveraging on our existing programmes to target the affected regions and sectors or refocusing our efforts in those areas. Working together, carefully addressing current disaster risk and longer term climate change, we will succeed in reducing vulnerabilities and building future resilience, preventing such impacts in the future.

Unfortunately, if we take the early years of this century and vast scientific evidence as a guide or simply follow the daily global news, the recent flood isn’t likely to be a one time event.

It is a fact that Moldova is highly prone to natural hazards. The drought of 2007, the floods of 2008 and the recent flood hitting Moldova two months ago clearly demonstrate this. It is therefore crucial to ensure that the key recommendations and actions that this assessment proposes are taken into consideration by the respective authorities and decision makers on different levels. Preventing future disasters and building capacities to mitigate their impacts needs to be given highest priority. The principles of disaster and climate risk management need to be fully integrated into national development strategies, policies and planning processes, to save lives and safeguard vital infrastructure in the future.

UNDP is committed to assist the government in those efforts. The forthcoming initiative on Disaster and Climate Risk Management in partnership with the government will aim at strengthening risk assessment capacities through the creation of a National Disaster Observatory. In parallel, a special focus will be placed on reducing vulnerabilities and improving climate risk management capacities at the local level.

It is evident that these efforts need to take place within the wider climate change context, and I am pleased to hear that Moldova is among the first countries in this region to start with the elaboration of a Low Emission Development Strategy, indicating Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions as requested by the Climate Convention. Let me conclude by wishing the Government of Moldova much success in addressing the important tasks ahead and reassure you of the commitment of the development partners - the UN, together with the EU and the World Bank - stand ready to assist the Government and the people of Moldova along the way.