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Italy Support ECOWAS With $14M in Support to Combat Risk Disasters

Stefano De Leo

More than $14 million has been invested by Italy in ECOWAS to boost the regional power’s efforts to better comprehend disaster risk.

Stefano De Leo, the Italian ambassador to Nigeria, said this on Thursday at the opening of the ECOWAS Disaster Operation Centre in Abuja.

The investment, according to De Leo, was made through the UNDRR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction).

The Italian government is especially proud of its collaboration in this area with ECOWAS, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the International Center for Environmental Monitoring, and the United Nations Office for Disaster and Risk Reduction.

“Over the last year, Italy has invested, through UNDRR, more than 14 million dollars to support a better understanding of risk, the real impact of disaster, how these disrupt the socio-economic system, and the possibility for a sustainable development,” he said.

The envoy stated that with a focus on the expanding leadership of the African Union and its regional organizations, the Italian government aimed to increase the strategic role of Africa in addressing global concerns.

He stated that the fourth center of the African Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Action System (AMHEWAS) for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was the focus of the event: the Disaster Operation Centre of ECOWAS.

He added that the ECOWAS center would be crucial in the region’s multihazard monitoring and early warning systems for floods, severe weather, droughts, and food insecurity.

“While there is still a long way to go until a continental framework is established, the network of collaboration is growing.

“It is imperative to take action and expand ties in order to jointly address the issues of sustainable economic development, climate change mitigation, and disaster preparedness.

We can all see how closely connected all of these issues are, he remarked.

The envoy added that the occasion offered a crucial opportunity to consider specific promises to support more secure and resilient communities.

He added that it included pledges to establish a successful continental system to improve data access and exchange throughout the area and the continent.

In her remarks, Fatou Sow Sarr, the commissioner for human development and social affairs for ECOWAS, expressed the organization’s gratitude to the Italian government for its substantial gift and unwavering dedication to the undertaking.

The African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) in Niamey, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD- ICPAC) in Nairobi, and the African Union Commission in Addis Abeba, according to Mrs. Sarr, will all be connected to the new center.

“We’re here to celebrate the opening of our Department of Human Development and Social Affairs’ Regional Disaster Operations Centre, a tremendous milestone.

“This center is a testament to the kind donations of the Government of Italy, the CIMA Foundation, and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. It is furnished with the free, open-source platform, myDEWETRA, which will significantly improve our capacity to monitor, analyze, and exchange disaster risk data,” she said.

A real-time system for hydro-meteorological forecasting and monitoring is called myDEWETRA.

The commissioner added that the commission has grown into a crucial component of advancing Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, enhancing the region’s capacity to address difficulties across borders.

“We have made significant progress aiding member states and developing resilient communities through partnerships and collaborations.

“By 2030, we aspire to substantially augment the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information,” he stated.

DRR needs the involvement of all partners, according to Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR.

All ECOWAS member states will be able to provide and receive essential support, according to Mrs. Mizutori.

And naturally, we are grateful to the Italian government for its kind support, without which this endeavor would not have been possible.

She stated, “The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction is delighted to have contributed to the establishment of this center by providing both technical and staffing support and we will maintain this support moving forward to help the center attain its full potential.

The creation of the ECOWAS Disaster Operations Centre, a key component of the AMHEWAS, according to the UN official, was a significant step toward realizing the Early Warnings for All plan.

She asserted that the UNDRR was dedicated to assisting all nations in achieving this degree of resilience.

The management of catastrophe risks, according to Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), cannot be implemented without an effective coordination system.

Additionally, Mr. Ahmed stated that efficient early warning systems for proactive early measures will be needed.

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