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