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Enhancing Disaster Resilience: GEM's Role in Malawi's Multi-Hazard Risk Project


Sep 29, 2023

Malawi has embarked on a critical multi-hazard risk assessment project supported by the World Bank. This initiative seeks to strengthen the nation's disaster resilience by assessing the potential impact of various hazards comprehensively. The project, executed by a consortium of partners, is geared towards enhancing disaster risk management (DRM) in Malawi.

The primary objective is clear: to empower Malawi with tools and knowledge to mitigate the diverse risks it faces. To achieve this, the consortium, comprised of GEM, CIMA, BGS and Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) emphasizes collaboration and stakeholder engagement. Identifying and integrating stakeholder needs and priorities is central to the project's approach.

The challenges are substantial. Malawi's limited hazard and risk assessment capacity can pose significant hurdles. These challenges require concerted efforts to improve risk science and develop the country's capacity in these areas. The project's multi-hazard focus aligns with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III), aimed at strengthening population resilience and reducing vulnerability.

Capacity development plays a pivotal role. The project leverages local institutions and academia to enhance capabilities in the next 2 years. Additionally, it recognizes the link between humanitarian needs and the risk-development nexus. Ensuring youth and gender balance is a priority, promoting their meaningful engagement in DRM efforts.

GEM, in close collaboration with Malawian experts, assumes a crucial role in this endeavour. GEM's responsibilities encompass seismic hazard and risk assessment, exposure development, physical vulnerability analysis, and social vulnerability assessment as well as database design and metadata interoperability standards. GEM’s work involves looking into local construction practices and understanding the intricate factors contributing to social vulnerability. Together with local experts, they aim to build a comprehensive risk assessment framework that reinforces Malawi's resilience in the face of a range of hazards.

This project signifies Malawi's commitment to proactive disaster risk management, harnessing the consortium’s expertise to fortify the nation's ability to withstand and respond to diverse risks effectively.

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