On 25th of March 2014 and as part of the International Program for Assessment of PNA institutions for the disasters, a delegation of experts from related UN organizations included representatives of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) visited the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Centre (UPDRRC) at An-Najah and participated in a workshop entitled: “Preparing Palestine for disasters”.
Dr. Dabbeek, UPDRRC Director, welcomed the delegation and gave an overview on the activities and studies carried out by the Centre. He focused on the activities accomplished under the “Seismic Risk Mitigation in Palestine” project (SASPARM within FP7, a European Funded project implemented in cooperation with European Center for earthquake engineering, EUCENTRE and IUSS Institute in Pavia-Italy. He also presented the strengths and weaknesses of Palestinian community and institutions, results of assessments of Palestinian risk reduction in the field of disaster planning, seismic scenarios and potential risks. Finally, he presented a number of comprehensive recommendations on how to develop Palestinian institutions’ capacity to deal with the disasters (SASPARM Deliverables D1.2 and D2.2).
Mr. Salameh, Director of the Community Service and Continuing Education Centre, talked about a number of community service programs and voluntary programsthe University students undertake through the Community Service Centre, highlighting the role volunteers in the planning and management of the disasters.
The UN delegation raised many issues and questions, focusing on the mechanisms necessary to deal with weaknesses and improve potential strengths in the Palestinian community and governmental and non-governmental organizations. Also they conducted a discussion the center’s vision towards building capacities in disaster risk reduction in general, and emergency response in particular.
Following the workshop, Prof. Natsheh, the Acting President of An-Najah, met with the delegation to talked about the academic institutions role and An-Najah’s scientific centers in particular in the capacity building to deal with disasters. Later, the delegation made a tour in the university old Campus and its facilities.
Finally, the visitors joined Dr Dabbeek in a tour with to somemountainous areas surrounding the city of Nablus, where they explored the topographic nature,its roads and buildings.
The workshop was attended by
- Dr. Jalal Dabeek; Dr. AymanMuhsen; Eng. Hatem Al-Wahish; and Mr. WalaaAjaj; and Dr. Bilal Salameh.
- The international delegation included: Mr. Alois A. Hirschmugl; Mr. Nigel Woof; Mr. Albrecht A. Beck; Mr. AbdelQader Abu Awad; Ms. Nihan Erdogan;Mrs. Nisreen Alami;Mr. Iyad Shwaikeh;Mr. Majed Abu Kobi;Mrs. Rima Abu Middain;Mr. Husam Tubail; and Mr. Mumoun Abo Zraiq.
- The workshop was an activity organised within the international programme of identifying and assessing the needs of the institutions of the Palestinian National Authority to cope with disasters (UNDAC Disaster Response Preparedness Mission).