Spring is coming to Kazakhstan slowly but steadily. Along with this wonderful time of the year, the flood season is also coming to the country, associated with snow melt and a lot of precipitation and, as the result, with flooding in settlements.
In this regard, last week during a meeting of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Minister of Internal Affairs Kalmukhanbet Kasymov raised the problem of the preparedness of rescue and emergency response services to natural disasters. Among other things, he said that “today there is no reason to talk about full readiness of regions for spring floods, since there are still challenging issues that need to be addressed. In particular, not all reservoirs are ready to take and let through flood waters seamlessly.”
Nevertheless, the Red Crescent of Kazakhstan began preparations for a possible spring emergency as early as in 2017 – it conducted training of citizens, took part in republican simulation exercises together with rescuers, concluded important partnership agreements and developed joint projects with business.
Specifically, last year the Red Crescent and Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation signed an agreement, under which they agreed to jointly provide assistance to people affected by the disaster. For this purpose, Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation allocated 67,200,000 tenge. A joint project was developed in partnership with ForteBank. In the event of the emergency, funds of the Foundation will be transferred to special assistance cards, which will be distributed by the Red Crescent among flood victims, covering over two thousand people. A primary assessment will be made and the most vulnerable and needy people will be identified.
Further, using these funds the victims will be able to purchase necessary goods and at least partially cover their primary needs. Thus, this mechanism also allows people to independently choose what their primary needs are, whereas previously, victims were simply given out packages of humanitarian aid with a certain set of goods collected beforehand. This is a good example of joint work of a benefactor acting through the Foundation, a corporate sector acting through the bank covering the technical part, and a non-governmental organization represented by the Red Crescent, working directly with people, providing necessary information and accounting.
At the moment, all the project participants are prepared – Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation transferred funds, ForteBank issued the cards, the Red Crescent trained employees and volunteers in Kazakhstan regions for effective and fast response to the emergency.