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Redouble efforts to reduce disaster risks

Why is it in the news (Context)?

  • India’s G-20 presidency established the first-ever work stream on disaster risk reduction.
  • The world faces an increasing trend in disasters, compounded by the aftermath of COVID-19, wars, debt crises, and food insecurity.
  • Climate change exacerbates extreme weather events, making disaster reduction critical.

Impact on Vulnerable Countries and Communities:

  • Vulnerable countries and communities, despite contributing least to the issue, suffer the most from disasters.
  • Many of the 50 most climate-vulnerable countries also face severe debt challenges.

India’s Experience:

  • India, already disaster-prone, experienced numerous disasters and extreme weather events in 2022.
  • The 2022 severe monsoon caused significant loss of life and livelihood.

Available Solutions

  • Solutions for adaptation and mitigation exist through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • UN member states have committed to accelerating resilience building.

Learning from COVID-19

  • The pandemic highlighted the importance of systems-wide disaster risk reduction, resilience, and adaptation.
  • Digital innovations like computer modelling and India’s CoWIN vaccine system contributed to disaster preparedness.

Optimism for Disaster Reduction

  • India’s leadership in disaster risk reduction includes state-level disaster management plans, early warning systems, and reduced cyclone and heat wave-related deaths.
  • The 15th Finance Commission allocated $28.6 billion for disaster preparedness and recovery in India.
  • India promotes disaster resilience internationally through initiatives like the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

International Efforts and Transformations

  • Integration of disaster risk reduction into infrastructure, investments, and daily life is crucial.
  • Early warning systems can reduce damage significantly; global access to such systems is needed.
  • Enhanced global data capabilities are essential for predicting and responding to risks.
  • International cooperation in disaster prevention, response, and recovery, especially for Global South countries, is imperative.

Opportunity for a resilient future

  • The G-20 summit and outcomes from the Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group provide an opportunity to build a future equipped to withstand disaster risks.
  • As UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized, while extreme weather events are inevitable, they do not have to become deadly disasters.

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