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Sensitization of children about safety and security stressed

ISLAMABAD: To protect schoolchildren from natural disasters and other insecurities, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) arranged events involving government education departments, academia, district disaster management authorities and the media in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, says a press release.

Hafiz Noorullah, an education development officer from Chitral, told a radio talk show: “There is a need to have more and more information sharing through different media platforms and involvement of young people in interactive discussions to sensitize them on the topics of safety and security.”

Nawab Ali Khan, chief executive officer AKAH Pakistan, said: “In the 2005 earthquake, Pakistan lost around 20,000 children due to vulnerable structures and lack of awareness and preparedness, which cannot be repeated. We need our schools to be resilient and better prepared for similar situations. We are thankful to our public and private-sector partners for joining hands with us to achieve this objective.”

For the last 20 years, AKAH has been designing and implementing programmes on Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation in some of Pakistan’s most vulnerable areas.  More than 1,000 schools in disaster-prone areas have benefitted from the development of hazard and risk maps, school safety plans, provision of school safety kits, and awareness raising and capacity building of individuals.

School-level awareness raising sessions have been part of the work of the Aga Khan Agency since the Islamabad Conference on School Safety held in 2008.

AKAH’s School Safety Programme will contribute towards the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s one million safe schools and hospitals global campaign, and contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and practical implementation of the Pakistan School Safety Framework.

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