UN Photo: Mr. S. S. Miyanawala, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster and Management
18 July 2016, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) for the recent floods and landslides was initiated today under the leadership of the Ministry of Disaster Management and the Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, together with UN Agencies, the European Union, and the World Bank.
Notable attendees at the event included Mr. S. S. Miyanawala, Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management; Mr. Alain Sibenaler, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. and UNFPA Representative; Mr. Ricardo Zapata-Marti, PDNA Senior Advisor to the European Union; and Mr. Suranga Kahandawa, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank.
The excessive rains in May 2016 caused heavy floods in 22 districts of the country and landslides in the central hills, displacing close to 60,000 families. The unexpected rainfall was the heaviest in more than 18 years in some regions, with serious impacts recorded in urban (Colombo and Gampaha) areas and in the hill country.
Delivering a message on behalf of the Minister of Disaster Management, the Secretary, Mr. Miyanawala stated, “As we are in the process of recovery from the recent disaster impact, we need to understand the sectoral impacts and what needs to be done to build back better. Sri Lanka is fortunate to have the support of the United Nations, World Bank, and European Union, to conduct a systematic Post Disaster Needs Assessment using a world-accepted methodology”.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Sibenaler said, “As Sri Lanka moves forward from emergency and early recovery phases, a thorough and consolidated assessment of loss, damage and human impact is needed to guide national recovery efforts. The Government of Sri Lanka decided to undertake a Post Disaster Needs Assessment to estimate impacts of the floods and landslides. In responding to the Government’s request, UN Agencies will work together with the EU and the World Bank to provide the required technical and financial support to conduct the PDNA.”
The PDNA was first conceptualized in 2008, as a result of a tripartite agreement between the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), the European Union, and the World Bank as an effort to harmonize post crisis assessments and recovery planning.
A team of international experts from UN Agencies, the European Union and the World Bank arrived in Sri Lanka to support the Government in the efforts to conduct the PDNA, which is to be presented in August 2016. With the findings and recommendations of the PDNA, Sri Lanka will be in a position to align itself with Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework: ‘Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction’.
Furthermore, the PDNA will provide the Government and other stakeholders with details of the losses, damages and impacts of the May 2016 floods and landslides, with recommendations for short and medium term recovery strategies, while providing guidance for long term resilience building in Sri Lanka.