UNITAR, IGAD Partner to Improve Disaster Reduction in East Africa

15 February 2013: The UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), through its Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAP), has partnered with East Africa's Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to promote the use of geospatial technologies to improve disaster reduction in East Africa.

According to UNITAR, IGAD and UNITAR have partnered to leverage the know-how of UNOSAT, with the support of the Norwegian Government, to develop the capacity of the organization and its members to use GIS and remote sensing to enhance planning, emergency preparedness, and prevention across the region. A capacity development plan focusing on technical training courses, the development of specific hazard databases, and awareness raising for IGAD decision makers, was agreed with IGAD during a steering committee meeting in January 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

UNITAR reports that a results-based management approach will be used to monitor progress and activity impact. The partnership is also expected to benefit the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC).

IGAD in Eastern Africa was created in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) which was founded in 1986. It aims to provide a regional approach to the recurring and severe droughts and other natural disasters that cause widespread famine, ecological degradation and economic hardship in the Eastern Africa region. [UNITAR Press Release] [IGAD Website]