On Sept. 30, Gretchen Kalonji co-chair of ANSO-DRR, and Dean of the Institute for Disaster Management (IDMR), was awarded the China Friendship Award, in a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People. The Friendship Award is the highest award offered to foreigners by the Chinese government to recognize contributions to the economic and social development of China. The award was presented by Vice Premier Liu He, and Dean Kalonji was subsequently invited with the other award members to join an event hosted by Premiere Li Keqiang in the Hebei Hall, where he honored them with a speech and a group photo. Prof. Kalonji and the rest of the award winners were then invited to participate in the National Day banquet, in a ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China which attended by President Xi Jinping. 


ANSO-DRR was launched during the first discussion meeting in Beijing, China on 11 May 2019, with the collaborative efforts of Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMHE-CAS) , the Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction (IDMR) of Sichuan University and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) , International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and other international scientific institutions, academies and universities from countries including China, Italy, Belgium, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc., which share strong interests in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and a strong geographic focus on the regions along China’s Belt and Road Initiative.