The Arab States share not only a common cultural heritage but
also regional scale natural hazard risk scenarios that are trans-national in nature and as such do not respect national
boundaries. Common risk issues that transcend the territorial borders include earthquakes, drought and desertification.
Other common issues include rapidly expanding urban centres, which are not systematically incorporating risk reduction
issues into their general approaches to urban development. However, despite the commonality of risk scenarios, there are
no adequate intra-regional mechanisms for coordination, research, training and information sharing. Capacities within the
region are quite varied. A sub-regional initiative focusing on information exchange and knowledge sharing and training
and initiating a regional partnership for disaster reduction is therefore proposed as a platform from which capacity
disparities can be reduced and regional cooperation promoted. Over a period of twelve months, this project will focus
on developing a sub-regional facility for sharing and networking of knowledge and the development of common approaches
to training and capacity building. During the initial stage the participating countries will be:Jordan, Lebanon,
Palestine, Syria and Yemen.