Readers of this website will know that from 2005 we have been pushing hard for action to reduce the risks of disasters and to better prepare people to save their lives. Starting from an effort to get government to create a national early warning system, we shifted to community-based disaster preparedness work at the last mile in association with Sarvodaya. It is heartening to see the risk reduction focus gaining acceptance worldwide:
Nations and institutions are looking for other ways to protect an estimated 3.4 billion people living in areas prone to at least one natural hazard, such as flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes. A Global Hotspots Analysis conducted by the World Bank and Columbia University estimates 105 million people are exposed to three or more natural hazards.
To this end, some 600 representatives of countries and organizations meet in Geneva this week for the inaugural session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The gathering is expected to become the main global forum for all parties involved in disaster-risk reduction, namely governments, UN agencies, international financial institutions, regional bodies, civil society, the private sector, and the scientific and academic communities.
“It’s an opportunity for all of us, as part of one global community, to reaffirm that it’s better to invest in disaster prevention than wait for an event to happen and then mobilize international assistance for reconstruction,” says Saroj Kumar Jha.
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