The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday announced the launch of an upgraded version of the Platform for Real-time Impact and Situation Monitoring (Prism) for crisis management and disaster risk reduction in Cambodia.

The launch of the new technology and monitoring tools for WFP’s Prism, which was first unveiled in Cambodia in 2015, was presided over by senior minister and NCDM first vice-president Kun Kim and WFP Country Director for Cambodia Francesca Erdelmann.

The WFP said the new version includes impact and situation monitoring linking field assessment information, early warning systems, remote sensing technology and socio-economic vulnerability data to measure risk and impact.

Kim said introducing the system upgrade in Cambodia evolved from an agreement signed in November between NCDM and WFP about the need for more joint action for crisis management and disaster risk reduction in Cambodia.

“This agreement establishes a collaborative framework to be ready to respond to disaster risk by developing the capacity of national and sub-national officials.

“We have provided training to NCDM officials to get real practice on using tablets to input data about impact, damage and loss due to disasters,” Kim said.

He thanked the WFP and said the humanitarian agency fighting global hunger has been working with the Cambodian government since 1979 to improve food security for vulnerable communities.

Erdelmann said WFP and NCDM have worked together since 2004, building on and complementing each other’s strengths and capabilities to provide life-saving support to the people of Cambodia when they were affected by natural disasters.

“Prism combines impact monitoring and live assessment information by advanced notification systems and remote sensing technology to measure risk and impact.

“Before a disaster, Prism enables NCDM to access the latest available climate hazard information, alongside vulnerability data through an intuitive, map-based dashboard to design risk reduction activities and target disaster responses,” she said.

Kim said as an example, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has predicted this year’s rainy season will come sooner than last year.

In August and September of this year, rainfall will be scattered across the country from moderate to heavy. Some provinces located in the lowlands near the high mountains and areas adjacent to waterways will be at high risk of flooding.