On 14 September, the Central Asia Centre for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction was officially inaugurated in Almaty, Kazakhstan, following the signature of an agreement between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The groundwork for the centre was laid through one of the many EU-funded projects in the region as part of the Disaster Preparedness ECHO programme (DIPECHO).
The centre is designed to better coordinate disaster and preparedness initiatives at the regional level in one of the most disaster-prone regions of the planet. It will create links between government bodies, technical partners and communities living in areas at risk, and it will seek to strengthen capacities in disaster risk reduction, contingency planning, monitoring and early-warning information exchange. On top of its core activities, the centre also aims to develop a culture of safety to reduce human loss during disasters by providing a platform for the exchange of information, best practices and technical training.