Maputo, 8 February 2017-- The Sub-Regional Technical Centre for Disaster Risk Management, Sustainability and Urban Resilience (DiMSUR) is one step closer to become a strong institution in Southern Africa after Mozambican Cabinet approved the proposal to host it in that country.

The decision was made during the 2nd Session of the Council of Ministers, which was recently held in Maputo. According to the Vice Minister of State Administration and Public Affairs of Mozambique, Mr. Roque Silva, hosting DiMSUR is an acknowledgement of Mozambique capacity in risk management.

DiMSUR was created in 2014 by the Governments of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of Comoros supported by UN-Habitat. DiMSUR is a non-profit, autonomous institution that aims to become a unique sub-regional platform in southern Africa for knowledge exchange, concentration of expertise and capacity development for disaster risk reduction, sustainability and urban resilience.

Since 2008, UN-Habitat has been facilitating the process of establishment and operationalization of the DiMSUR. The initiative started when the governments of Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros and Malawi first expressed willingness to work together for a more resilient urban future in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since the beginning UN-Habitat acts as the Secretariat Ad Interim of DiMSUR.

UN-Habitat continues to support the establishment of DiMSUR by developing DiMSUR’s flagship product: City Resilience Action Planning Tool, the CityRAP Tool. The CityRAP is a user-friendly interactive tool for training and capacity building of city managers and technicians in intermediate and smaller urban centres with low institutional capacity.

Another activity conducted by UN-Habitat in partnership of DiMSUR is the training of trainers, which capacitates technicians from the municipality staff to be able to implement the CityRAP Tool themselves, with little or no external support.

CityRAP activities have been conducted in eleven cities in nine African countries between 2015 and 2017: Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Union of Comoros, Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea Bissau and Burkina Faso. The tool directly engaged more than 800 local participants among city authorities, technicians, local community leaders and civil society representatives.

The approval of the proposal to host DiMSUR in Maputo by the highest national level in Mozambique brings DiMSUR one step closer to become an autonomous regional centre open to membership from other countries and capable to deliver high quality services to all cities and towns that demand assistance to build their urban resilience strategies.

The next steps for DiMSUR is to continue prospecting fundraising opportunities to expand its activities to other cities and to conclude the second version of the CityRAP Tool, based on experience and feedbacks from the 11 cities where it was conducted.