Photo: Yamon Phu Thit/UNDP Myanmar

Yangon, 29th July 2019: Located along active faults and with the rapid increase in urbanization of 2.9% annual growth rate, Yangon Region is highly vulnerable to earthquake risks and subsequent loss and damages in lives and properties should a severe earthquake occur. In order to reduce these risks, strengthening preparedness measures and efficient response functions are critical.

Today, the Yangon Region Disaster Management Committee launched the Yangon Region Earthquake Preparedness and Response Plan. The Plan was developed with funding support from the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in close collaboration with the Department of Disaster Management.

The Yangon Region Earthquake Preparedness and Response Plan aims to minimize damage to property, reduce injury and lives lost, and normalize the lives of those affected in a timely manner in the case of a damaging earthquake.

Speaking at the launching event, Chief Minister of Yangon Region Government H.E U Phyo Min Thein said, “Yangon Region is located in an earthquake prone area with a rapidly growing population, weak urban planning and unsafe infrastructure. It is very critical for both Government and community to work together, and to be prepared, and equipped to respond should an earthquake occur in Yangon. The Yangon Region Earthquake Preparedness and Response Plan is an important policy document that gives us the framework to do this."

Ms. Dawn Del Rio, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative said, “Earthquakes when they occur cause loss of lives, destruction of invaluable infrastructure including community assets and livelihoods of people. They stall and reverse hard won development gains of developing countries and put significant pressure on the country’s financial and human resources.  It is therefore, very timely that the Union Government and Yangon Regional Government have developed their respective Earthquake Preparedness and Response Plans to strengthen preparedness and response. UNDP remains committed to support the Government in the further operationalization of the Plan in partnership with the development community.”

Mr. Julien Buha Collette, Technical Expert forEuropean Union Humanitarian Aid said, “For the EU, as a long-standing support of disaster risk reduction In Myanmar, the finalization of this plan with a focus on preparedness and response is a very positive and extremely relevant step. This model can be applied in other parts of the country exposed to similar risks. We are now looking forward to witnessing how the plan will support the Yangon region ongoing efforts on earthquake resilience and be turned into concrete actions for the benefit of the people”.

The development of the Yangon Region Earthquake Preparedness and Response Plan has been guided by the National Earthquake Preparedness and Response Plan, which will be launched on 6th August 2019.

The Yangon Region Earthquake Preparedness and Response Plan will help guide preparedness measures and strengthen response functions that need to be coordinated among the Yangon Region Disaster Management Work Committees and relevant departments and organizations to reduce earthquake-related risks.

The Yangon Regional Disaster Management Committee will organize the first ever earthquake simulation table top exercise for Yangon Region on 31st July 2019. The exercise will test the practicality and the applicability of the Plan and put forth recommendations for further strengthening of the Plan.

For more information, contact:

UNDP Communication Team | +95 9 7916 39052 | yamon.phu.thit@undp.org  

Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Department of Disaster Management |U Win Shwe or +95-1-661812

ECHO: Malika Panorat, Regional Information and communication Assistant on malika.panorat@echofield.eu;

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In Myanmar, UNDP has been providing development assistance to the people of Myanmar since the 1950s. Today, UNDP in Myanmar is committed to the achievement of an ambitious agenda to support achievement of the 2030 Agenda and implementation of the SDGS by bring global best practices, international standards and working closely with partnerships, the UN system, Government and people of Myanmar to provide support to collectively deliver on the 2030 Agenda across Myanmar’s development, economic, and social and environmental priorities.

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