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Grant for disaster risk assessment in Pakistan

US: Professor Yang Hong, associate professor in University of Oklahoma’s (OU) School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences, received a USD 500,000 grant from the Pakistan – U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation Program.

Hong’s project, titled “Capacity Building in Disaster Risk Assessment and Management through Training and Research in Geo-informatics and Hydrometeorological Hazard Risk Reduction Strategies,” focuses on increasing Pakistan’s capacity to reduce the risk of damage from potential natural disasters, including developing an early warning system for floods by integrating real-time remote sensing data and predictive hydrometeorological models.

Recent floods in Pakistan have underlined the need for countries to be better prepared for extreme weather events,” said Hong. The major outcome of this project is to develop local capacities through trainings, disaster risk-reduction research, student and faculty exchanges, workshops and seminars. Ultimately, the project should build the national capacity of Pakistan in natural disaster risk mitigation through training and research in geographical information science, according to Hong.

“We are likely to see more extreme events in the future, particularly in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region, and the international climate, water and development communities need to ensure that adequate support is channeled to the region in a way that enforces ongoing ‘best practices in adaptation,’” said Shahid Habib, project collaborator and chief of the Office of Applied Sciences at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

This project, which is a joint effort of OU and Pakistan’s National University of Science and Technology, will be completed in three years. Slightly more than half of the total budget will be spent training Pakistani university academics in disaster prediction and risk management techniques.

Source: The University of Oklahoma