29 April - 1 May 2013 (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretariat has collaborate had with IRP/ADRC in organizing a Workshop on Disaster Recovery Planning held at GCC Conference Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from April 29 to May 1, 2013. The workshop was an initial stage of creating a pool of recovery experts in the region. The idea is to have a standby capacity at GCC to support any country in the region desiring assistance for disaster recovery planning.
During the workshop, various aspects of recovery planning were discussed including hazards from neighboring countries like Iran (which was recently struck by earthquake) that might have effects on GCC member states. While IRP/ADRC served mainly as facilitators, partners from the World Bank in Washington, DC and UNISDR in Egypt came to the workshop to share their expertise.
With about 50 high level participation from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates, no less than H.E. Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary-General of GCC, came at the opening to grace the event. The Secretary-General highlighted the importance of activities and programs that strengthen "preparedness", "planning", and "governance" to achieve effective and resilient disaster management and recovery. The League of Arab States (LAS) had also sent delegations to the workshop.
As way forward, the workshop participants through the leadership of Dr. Abdul Aziz Yousif Hamza, who is the Head of GCC Emergency Center, identified the key next steps. Firstly, a follow-up Workshop on Disaster Recovery Planning for GCC will be organized sometime in June or September 2013. This workshop will be participated primarily by the same set of participants, who will serve as resource persons to senior level officials. In the follow-up workshop, an additional one-day activity will be devoted on the "Role of Media in DRR". Secondly, Case Studies on DRR will be collected by each GCC member state. In doing this, an international template will be utilized (e.g. IRP/ADRC case studies template). Each member state is expected to submit at least one case study to GCC Secretariat within two months. The development of these case studies will also be coordinated with LAS, as there are similarities of hazards. Finally, a Workshop on Risk Assessment will be organized in each GCC member state which will later culminate in a regional workshop to be held in Kuwait or Riyadh to share experiences and come up with a Regional Risk Assessment Framework.