The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has proposed to collaborate with the Odisha government for increasing the resilience of urban population vulnerable to disasters in five towns in the wake of the massive devastation wrought by cyclone ‘Fani’ in May last.The UNDP intends to achieve enhanced risk sensitive planning facilitated through disaster risk assessments, besides facilitating better preparedness plans and capacity-building of local government and communities.After ‘Fani’ hit Odisha on May 3 killing 64 people and affecting about 16.5 million people in and over 18388 villages in 14 of the 30 districts, the UNDP has been closely working with the State government to support its recovery efforts.The five towns where the UNDP is likely to participate in planning are Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Berhampur and Paradip.According to the UNDP, due to its geographic location and socio-economic condition, Odisha is highly prone to disasters. Its location on the east coast of India makes it one of the six most cyclone-prone areas in the world and highly vulnerable in terms of cyclone landfall.Cyclones thate have hit the State in the last two decades are the 1999 super cyclone, Phailin 2013, Hudhud 2014 , Titli 2018 and Fani 2019. This year, three out of the five municipal corporations – Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur – had faced the wrath of ‘Fani’. Moreover, Odisha is one of the most flood-prone States, having a flood-prone area of 3.34 million hectares. Out of a total geographical area of 15,571 lakh hectares, 1.40 lakh hectares are prone to floods.The UNDP has proposed to conduct safety audit of some critical public facilities, especially schools and hospitals, involve itself in sectoral plans for key sectors such as water, infrastructure, environment, housing and sewage treatment and preparation of Hazard Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (HRVA) at city level through an interactive and participatory process.Since communities are the primary responders during disasters, approximately 250 volunteers in the five towns will be trained on survival techniques like search and rescue, first-aid and crowd management. As many as 100 engineers, architects, construction artisans and contractors will be skilled to respond to disasters and support mitigation activities.