Nobel Laureate World Food Programme and PDC join forces in disaster preparedness and response

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November 25, 2020

As COVID-19 worsens the outlook for millions and threatens years of progress in poverty reduction programs, 2020 Nobel Laureate the World Food Programme (WFP), is joining forces with Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) to further disaster preparedness and emergency response in the Asia and the Pacific region. By combining expertise and their common humanitarian purpose, the two organizations hope to increase capacity to save lives and reduce suffering for the world’s most vulnerable populations.

“By joining efforts, we have established a global standard and methodology for anticipating impacts to populations. This is enabling the global community to respond collectively in meeting the urgent emergency needs of individuals, communities, and regions adversely impacted by disasters,” said PDC’s Director of Global Operations Dr. Erin Hughey.

WFP won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.” Under the partnership, activities will focus on disaster planning and preparedness, risk and vulnerability assessment methodologies and applications, all-hazards monitoring, early warning and notification systems and partner capacity strengthening, and a cadre of tools and products developed to facilitate these activities.

Nearly a month after her village in Umerkot, Sindh Province, Pakistan, was devastated by floods, Chandni receives a ration package from WFP at a general food distribution point for flood affected families September 14, 2020 in Umerkot, Pakistan.

“Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world. Countries need our continued support to help them prepare, respond and recover when disasters strike. The research and tools will greatly enhance national governments’ ability to withstand multiple shocks and contribute to the resilience-building of families and communities,” said WFP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, John Aylieff.

“We are pleased to support the widely recognized work of WFP in fighting hunger everywhere. Together, we will become more forward-leaning in our capabilities and programs to help national governments and communities respond to a variety of hazards, including those brought on by climate change and COVID-19,” said PDC’s Executive Director Ray Shirkhodai.

Prior to the signing of the MoU, the two organizations had collaborated with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on products such as the Joint Analysis of Disaster Exposure (JADE), which has been used by humanitarian partners and national governments worldwide to more effectively respond to disasters.

“PDC is a small but proud global partner in disaster risk reduction. It has a proven record of developing successful partnerships and cutting-edge science and technologies over the last two decades that are in operational use around the world,” said University of Hawai’i’s President Dr. David Lassner. “The World Food Programme made a great decision to partner with PDC and we are excited and eager to see how these two highly impactful organizations can do even more for humanity together.”

About WFP
The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPAsiaPacific

About PDC
PDC is an applied research center managed by the University of Hawai’i that develops new technologies and best practices to advance the field of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. We support the most demanding needs of nonprofits and government organizations worldwide in our collective missions to create a safer, more disaster resilient world.

Follow us Facebook @PDCGlobal and on Twitter @PDC_Global

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