The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has historic profile of multifaceted disasters, including, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones, sand storms, rock falls, collapse of structures, epidemics, fire, terrorist acts, stampedes and other complex emergencies. The recurring enormous human and material losses emphasize the need for pursuing modern concept and approach which entail paradigm shift in handling disasters, from 'response centric' to 'proactive' disaster risk management (DRM) leading to disasterresilient infrastructure, building integrated response capability and achieving enhanced awareness in the societal context. The DRM encompasses all activities related to disaster mitigation, preparedness, emergency response, recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. The study synthesizes information obtained on DRM from published literature, personal experiences and interaction with the stakeholders. Besides, questionnaire survey was also conducted to assess the community awareness and preparedness of concerned departments. The study undertakes comprehensive review of KSA disaster profile, current practices, response capability and human resource development. It has been identified that KSA is confronting multifaceted challenges including, lack of formal training and professional expertise; lack of understanding about conceptual aspects of disasters and coordination amongst various stakeholders; and absence of hazard risk assessment, mapping or micro-zoning, building codes, etc. This paper gives KSA sate of practices, institutional mechanism and capacity building needs to manage disasters on integrated and sustainable basis.
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