High-level Forum on Mega Disaster Response Capacity Building

Oct 26, 2016

On 25 October, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China, co-hosted a high-level forum on mega disaster response capacity building in Xi’an, China, as part of the Sharing and Learning on Community Based Disaster Management in Asia Project (CBDM Asia Phase II), to share policy, good practices and experience of mega disaster reduction and relief and promote capacity building of Asian countries through innovative ways

The forum was organized in partnership with the National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC), and brought together governments, academia and civil society organizations from China, Bangladesh, Nepal and the UK, as well as UN agencies to be part of this important discussion.

Speaking at the opening of the forum, Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director for UNDP China, reflected upon China’s disaster-prone conditions and UNDP China’s role in disaster-risk management. He highlighted the importance of innovative projects and practice in disaster response making use of high technology like risk mapping. With common goals in disaster response, he believes that the international community would yield more efforts in coping with mega disasters.

China, Bangladesh and Nepal are all hit frequently by natural disasters. Both the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 and Nepal earthquake in 2015 brought about heavy casualties and economic losses.

Mr. Pang Chenmin, Director General of Disaster Relief Department, Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC) pointed out that “under the circumstances that the death rate as a result of disasters in South and East Asia areas are ten times of the global areas, reducing disaster risks and enhancing disaster resilience at both national and community level will be crucial to social and economic development.” He also emphasized the Chinese government’s endeavors to proactively implement Sendai Framework on DRR, as well as efforts in international and regional cooperation.

Mr. Jim Carpy, Head of the department for International Development (DFID) China, highlighted UK’s emphasis on global humanitarian aid, among which disaster management is now a top priority for future collaboration. Furthermore, he reiterated the importance of Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM) Asia project under the new development partnership between UK and China.

“Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and about 15% of its population – or some 20 million people – live in chronic poverty,” shared Mr. M. Khalid Mahmood, Joint Secretary and Director (Planning and Development), Department of Disaster Management, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Government of Bangladesh. He reflected upon mega disasters vital impact on people’s livelihood, environment and economy. “With the government’s support, Bangladesh is working in an all-around way to deal with mega disasters, specially earthquake”.

Reflecting on Nepal’s earthquake in 2015 and its impact on the Nepalese people and its society, Mr. Krishna Bahadur Raut, Joint Secretary, Division Chief of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Nepal thanked the international community in helping Nepal in response to the disaster. He believes this forum provides an opportunity to realize an improvement in preparedness to similar disasters in future by enhancing capability to mobilize available knowledge, facilities, resources and technology from the partner countries for effective response and recovery. He also stressed that “south-south cooperation is not only about sharing and learning lessons, but also to forge a collaborative partnership between government-to-government and institution-to-institution to improve emergency preparedness and response and disaster risk management in general”.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” emphasizes that The United Nations and other international and regional organizations, international and regional financial institutions and donor agencies engaged in disaster risk reduction are requested, as appropriate, to enhance the coordination of their strategies in this regard. UNDP, as a proud supporter of Sustainable Development Goal, wishes to incorporate Sendai Framework into goals in terms of disaster risk reduction (DRR). Through endeavors in strengthening capacity building on DRR through south-south cooperation, UNDP hopes that with participation of high-level government officials, representatives and experts from China, UK, Bangladesh and Nepal, this forum can further promote exchanges and communications on mega disaster response among partner countries to put Sendai commitments into action.

 

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