Sri Lanka Alliance for Disaster Risk Management

Introduction: Building on the networks already in place in Sri Lanka, including the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Sri Lanka chapter of the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD SL), the private sector and other actors are partnering with the Connecting Business initiative to build the Sri Lanka Alliance for Disaster Risk Management. The Alliance will constitute the consolidated national private sector network for disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

The Indian Ocean tsunami killed 230,000 people and destroyed lives and livelihoods of many more. Its human cost is immeasurable. It unleashed an unprecedented national and international response from affected communities, people, governments and many other organizations eager to help.

A number of evaluations of the tsunami response point to some stand-out lessons. These include the importance of improving emergency preparedness, disaster mitigation and early warning to save lives; the need for communities to participate fully in every stage of a response; the merit of aligning emergency humanitarian assistance with long-term recovery efforts; and the value of getting coordination and partnerships right. The inclusion of the private sector in all of this is key.

The Sri Lanka Alliance for Disaster Risk Management will support the private sector to engage easier, faster and more efficiently in disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery through the coordination and consolidation of a number of networks and initiatives under the framework of the Connecting Business initiative.  The objective of the Connecting Business initiative is to support existing national, regional, thematic and industry private sector networks; and create a global portal to connect new and existing national, regional, thematic and industry private sector networks and platforms.

Partners: Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the Sri Lanka chapter of the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD SL) and the Capital Maharaja Organization Limited, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), UNDP

Activities: As the initiative is being rolled-out priority activities will include:

  • Integrating and coordinating existing networks and platforms under the framework of the Connecting Business initiative;
  • Developing and implementing an initial work plan for the platform;
  • Holding meetings with regional and global counterparts on touch points and joint action;
  • Building a pool of experienced personnel to assist in the implementation of the activities; and
  • Building a website that will connect the Sri Lanka network with the global portal of the Connecting Business initiative.

Governance: The network would initially be hosted by the Sri Lanka arm of the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management, with resources and support to be provided by the local private sector. These organizations will lead the implementation of the Connecting Business initiative in Sri Lanka by coordinating the private sector’s engagement.

Synergies: The Sri Lanka network will elevate information on requirements that cannot be met at the national level to the global portal. The global portal and the secretariat of the Connecting Business initiative will facilitate connections between the Sri Lanka network and other platforms, governments, international organizations and civil society. The secretariat of the global portal will support the network by providing capacity building resources and training, disseminating best practice on private sector engagement in disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery, and disseminating best practice on advocacy, policy and standard setting.

Current emergencies:

Floods - May 2017

Read the UN Resident Coordinator’s key messages here.

A-PAD has been undertaking the following activities with the private sector members, in coordination with national and international actors:

  • Preparedness - Pre disaster warnings were disseminated to all members of the network. Coordination with the private sector and other national actors started early on.
  • Assessment - On the 26 May, air reconnaissance was initiated to assess the extent of the floods, and the ground situation to harness and optimize resources.
  • Information Hub - A-PAD has been acquiring information from the Ministry of Disaster Management, Disaster Management Centre and the United Nations and disseminating to relevant stakeholders.
  • Coordination - A-PAD is also coordinating search and rescue operations with the SL Tri-Forces, Ministry of DM, Disaster Management Centre, and an emergency response team has also been formulated. Following the disaster, many were not able to move from respective locations due to roads been flooded or landslides causing severe Resources have been harnessed and the teams are deployed in accordance to emergency. A-PAD also facilitated the initiatives undertaken by the private sector organisations - PickMe, and Dialog, on 26 and 27 May. The technology was set up at the DMC allowing them to have access to the SOS calls coming through for boats/helicopters to be sent to respective locations.   
  • Volunteers – A call for volunteers was made and the response has been very good. A-PAD will continue to mobilize volunteer force from corporates.
  • Emergency responses for animals - A-PAD has also formulated team to rescue companion animals, livestock in this emergency. Boats are been deployed every day and a Facebook page has been initiated for any that require assistance and to facilitate coordination. 
  • Relief items – A-PAD has distributed water bottles to the affected communities by Air through the SL Air Force. Urgent requirement for water is still observed and A-PAD is providing relief as informed through the Government and ground officials. Through the partnership with Cargills supermarket chain, they are communicating and dispatching requirements from different outlets to different areas.
  • Further assistance - The situation may worsen in the coming days. Any assistance would be welcome. Contact: Michelle Joseph: +94773838281 / ; Firzan Hashim: +94777688808 / or Dilakshinee Angunawela: +94773525113 / 
  • Read 27 May 2017 APAD Report on Air Reconnaissance here and APAD Situation update here including how different companies have participated in the response.

The APAD Bulletin on activities in April-May 2017 is available here.

Get involved:
  1. Join the network
  2. Support the network through funding, in-kind contributions, program collaboration or advice 
A-PAD Sri Lanka is coordinating information, facilitating emergency responses and is collecting and providing relief items. Should you wish to donate, volunteer or enquire further on the above information, please contact the A-PAD Team below.  
➢ Michelle Joseph: +94 773 838 281 / 
➢ Firzan Hashim: +94 777 688 808 / 
➢ Dilakshinee Angunawela: +94 773 525 113 /