The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri interrupted for a while the cabinet session held at the Grand Serail and headed with a number of ministers to the operations hall, to follow up through television screens connected to the Bekaa mohafazat a live maneuver for the “disaster and crisis plan for Baalbek-Hermel” in coordination with the mohafez, Bachir Khodr.

Prime Minister Hariri spoke via the screen with the officials in the Hermel and Bekaa operations room commending their efforts and asserting the government’s support.

The maneuver organized by the UNDP Disaster Risk Management Unit at the Presidency of the Council of ministers simulated a field exercise for a flood scenario on Nahr al-Assi banks in Hermel. It came in the framework of the implementation of the disaster and crisis plan for Baalbek-Hermel.

The Disaster Risk Management Unit at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, with a financing by the European Union, Kuwait and the Embassy of the Netherlands, is reinforcing Lebanon’s abilities to face the risks of natural crises that are manmade on the national, sectoral and local levels.

In this framework, they supported the Baalbek-Hermel mohafazat to prepare a disaster response plan based on studies and assessments of the risks facing the region. The mohafazat also formed a disaster management committee, headed by the mohafez, that includes representatives from the concerned ministries and apparatus like the Lebanese army, the internal security forces, the civil defense and the Lebanese Red Cross. The unit also equipped an operations room for the mohafazat with state of the art techniques for a rapid and effective response in case of emergency.

During the maneuver, the operations room was put into function in addition to a field operations room that was connected to the central operations room at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in the Grand Serail, where Prime Minister Saad Hariri oversaw the maneuvers and the measures taken.

The maneuver started with speeches delivered by the Secretary General of the Higher Defense Council and Head of the joint committee for disaster management Major General Saadallah Hamad representing Prime Minister Saad Hariri, UNDP Resident Representative for Lebanon Philippe Lazzarini, Dutch Ambassador to Lebanon Han-Maurits Schaapveld, Baalbek-Hermel Governor Bachir Khodr and European Union Representative Alexey Lubber

The head of the Disaster Risk Management Unit Nathalie Zaarour and technical officer Sawsan Boufakreddine explained the objectives of the exercise.

Source: National News Agency