UNDP works in more than 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We support countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.
Severe floods (2014-2015) that struck South East European (SEE) countries have once again confirmed that disasters do not know of any borders and that disasters are often “shared”. However, even though that similar disaster risks are present in all the project partner countries and territories (1) and that there are some institutional similarities their respective Disaster Risk Management (DRM) policies are all somewhat different. The experience learned from the last regional flooding goes to show that connectivity/cooperation weaknesses were twofold: first one concerning institutionalization of municipality level cooperation of DRR stakeholders (urban level of cities/municipalities/counties) and the second one concerning their operative interconnectivity at regional/cross-border level i.e. replication modality of best practice examples and regional know-how sharing at the level of municipality DRR specifically in the area of local DRR prevention initiatives.
A year after the flooding, this problem of more formalized/institutionalized DRR cooperation model between relevant DRR stakeholders both nationally (at the urban level) and cross-border within SEE countries still remain unresolved. Furthermore, bearing in mind that the DRR system of the participating countries is based upon the bottom-up approach calls for a well-coordinated approach at the local level so that in the case when the emergency exceeds local capacities national Civil Protection agencies are engaged and subsequently civil protection mechanism triggered. Moreover, civil protection system is getting more decentralized in the SEE countries meaning that municipalities are increasingly becoming the first responders, therefore the peer-to-peer experience exchange and support is increasingly critical. This project will also support further decentralization of the governance mechanisms and make them more transparent and accessible at local level. Additionally, as institutional interventions are always inevitably calling for improving/strengthening capacity building and awareness raising this segment will also be taken into consideration and adequately addressed.
(1) - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo *This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.