Iran Urged to Join INSARAG

Iran Urged to Join INSARAGIran Urged to Join INSARAG

The INSARAG certification was presented to Behnam Saeedi, deputy for prediction and prevention at the Tehran Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization.

INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) is a network of disaster-prone and disaster-responding countries and organizations dedicated to urban search and rescue (USAR) and operational field coordination.

The certification was presented by the UNDP resident representative in Iran, Gary Lewis, on Monday at the UN-sponsored seminar on disaster management in Tehran.

“We are looking forward to Iran joining the international network,” said Lewis, IRNA reported.

Iran is prone to natural disasters such as floods, drought and earthquakes, and ranks as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. The strengthening of disaster management capacities in Iran has figured high on the agenda of the government in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program.

The UNDP works closely with government and civil society to identify and strengthen national capacities in the management and implementation of early recovery programs and disaster reduction and preparedness.

INSARAG was established in 1991 following initiatives of the international SAR teams that responded to the 1988 Armenian earthquake. The UN was chosen as its secretariat to facilitate international participation and coordination.

Noting that Iran is one of the world’s 10 disaster-prone countries, Saeedi expressed hope that Iran will join the network in order to help overcome the challenges and curtail losses in the event that a disaster strikes.

 Preventive Measures

“Iran has the potential to be hit by 35 out of every 45 natural disasters,” he stressed, adding that many Iranian cities “are still susceptible to heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.

Preventive measures and education are of essence in reducing casualties and damage during unforeseen calamities, he said.

The seminar, held jointly by the UN and the TDMMO, will run through November 18.

INSARAG is a global network of more than 80 countries and organizations under the UN umbrella. It deals with urban search and rescue (USAR) related issues, aiming to establish minimum international standards for USAR teams and methodology for international coordination in earthquake response.

The certification seeks to strengthen the effectiveness and coordination of international urban search and rescue assistance.