Thirty participants from Pakistan’s major FM radio channels and representatives from INGO and NGO agencies have welcomed plans to set up a First Response Radio (FRR) network in Pakistan. Speaking at FRR’s inaugural meeting at a hotel in Islamabad, IOM (International Organisation for Migration) coordinator Naima Saeed told the audience that radio was a key medium for communicating with survivors after a disaster and that establishing First Response radio in Pakistan will be a great step forward in helping disaster affected communities.
The event marks the start of a plan to equip and train local teams to set up a radio station within 72 hours of a disaster anywhere in Pakistan. HCR’s Hazeen Latif who is the First Response Pakistan coordinator says, “In the last ten years, nine teams have been trained, 15 disasters responded to, and we’ve been getting closer to the 72 hour mark as witnessed in the First Response Radio deployment to Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.”
The event in Islamabad was a collaborative venture between Pakistan-based NGO, Foundation for Better Tomorrow (FFBT), First Response and HCR.