Cal OES signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Aga Khan Development Network

Sacramento, California - Today, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Aga Khan Development Network Disaster Risk Management Initiative and FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance USA.

This MOU builds on the Agreement of Cooperation entered by the State of California and His Highness the Aga Khan, the Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network in 2009, reaffirming their shared commitment to dedicate human and material resources to confront poverty and collaborate in disaster response and preparedness.

"The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding gives us an opportunity to end 2013 with a great cooperation and to enhance bilateral emergency response," said Mark Ghilarducci, Director of Cal OES. "This gives us an extraordinary opportunity to expand on the efforts of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery and to assure our world can recover from all hazards - natural, man-made, war-caused or any disasters."

Both the State of California and the AKDN have extensive experience in seismic mitigation.Today's signing was an informal agreement between all the signatories to reduce the risk of, and respond to, threats to the public health, safety and welfare of communities at risk and strengthens the commitment to reduce the loss of life and suffering due to emergencies.

"It's a pleasure to renew this relationship with California and we are honored for this partnership because of your expertise in emergency management and disaster mitigation," said Dr. Mahmoud Eboo, President of the Aga Khan Council for the USA. "With your generosity and knowledge, you are helping other parts of the world."

The AKDN partnership with California in 2009 helped introduced the work of quake preparedness drills to different parts in the world, like Pakistan.

"We, at the Governor's Office, are excited at the signing of this MOU in an area that is much needed in the world we live in today ­- preparedness, emergency management, earthquake safety and intelligent rural and urban planning," said Nancy McFadden, Executive Secretary to California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

In an effort to enhance the role that non-governmental organizations plays in California's ability to respond to and recover from emergencies, Cal OES has worked to incorporate these organizations along with the private sector into the state's disaster response system. As part of these efforts, Cal OES has actively pursued key partnerships with, American Red Cross, Wells Fargo; Bank of America; Time Warner Cable; Walmart Stores, Inc.; Gap, Inc.; California Grocers Association; Target Corporation; Home Depot; California Utilities Emergency Association; and several others.

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