By Maja Tuljković – Sarajevo
The project titled ‘Reducing Disaster Risk and Safety of Children’ was successfully implemented in B&H on the occasion of the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction. This international event was marked under the organization of the B&H Ministry of Security and UNICEF B&H.
The International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction is marked every year on 13 October, based on the resolution of the UN General Assembly from 2009. It is dedicated to the fight to reduce the risk of natural disaster.
On this occasion, the B&H Ministry of Security and B&H UNICEF, at yesterday’s press conference in Sarajevo, underscored the importance of raising citizen awareness and the capacity to respond to any disaster. It is very important that citizens, and especially children, know how to act in case of fire, earthquake or any other emergency situation. Unfortunately, it is children that make up around one half of the total number of victims in natural disasters. The number of catastrophes at the global scale is increasing. Since 2000, around 2,7 billion people were affected by a catastrophe.
The importance of the program implemented by UNICEF and UNDP is focused on the education system. The goal is to raise awareness about prevention and other forms of activities for children, thereby including children with disabilities and marginalized groups. One of the planned activities is the inclusion of disaster risk reduction in the curricula of all schools.
According to representatives of the B&H Ministry of Security at yesterday’s press conference, these efforts are being done so that B&H does not lag behind other countries in the region, and UNICEF is aiding these efforts. Also, the results of the project ‘Reducing Disaster Risk and Safety of Children’ were presented with the slogan ‘Ready, Saved’. The B&H Ministry of Security and UNICEF implemented it in cooperation with the municipality of Tuzla and the city of Bijeljina. For the first time, children and family manuals were made with the intent to provide basic guidelines in a simple and affordable way as to how people should behave in the case of natural or other disasters. A viral video called ‘Not Me’ was shown, and the children’s game ‘Country of Risk’ was shown, whose goal is to inform children in a fun way on accidents and to learn how to protect themselves in the event of natural or other disasters.
In this way, the official end of final activities tied to the implementation of the project was marked, which was launched to enhance public awareness of catastrophes and how to react. The project was financed by USAID/OFDA (Office to Assist Foreign Countries in the Event of a Disaster).