The article dated 11th September 2023 focuses on the escalating urgency to redouble efforts in disaster risk reduction. The G20 summit held in New Delhi emphasized that the world is experiencing risks at a pace faster than the countermeasures. The COVID19 pandemic, wars, debt, and food insecurities, coupled with climate crises, have made matters worse. The article pays specific attention to India's vulnerability to various disasters while highlighting its significant strides in disaster management.
The Need for Urgency
Situation: The world is at a crossroads where risks are outpacing reduction efforts. Natural disasters are becoming frequent and intense, and vulnerable countries are disproportionately affected.
Example: The severe flooding in China and wildfires in Europe are manifestations of the current crisis.
Situation: India is amongst the world’s most disasterprone countries. In 2022, the nation faced frequent extreme weather events, and the 2023 monsoon season was particularly damaging.
Example: This year's monsoon has led to widespread loss of livelihood and lives.
Existing Solutions and Progress
Situation: Frameworks like the SDGs and the Sendai Framework offer existing solutions for mitigation and adaptation.
Example: In May this year, UN member states pledged to renew efforts to build resilience.
India’s Achievements in Disaster Management
Situation: India has made significant progress in disaster management. All 28 states have prepared their disaster management plans. Advanced early warning systems have been implemented.
Example: Cyclonerelated mortality has been reduced by 90% over the last 15 years.
Situation: The 15th Finance Commission in India allocated $28.6 billion for disaster preparedness.
Example: This funding will be used at both national and state levels for five years.
Situation: India is taking a leadership role globally, demonstrated through its G20 presidency and the establishment of a Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group.
Example: India’s National Disaster Response Force is regularly deployed worldwide.
The Way Forward
Situation: There is a need to integrate disaster risk at all levels, from construction to investments.
Example: UNbacked early warning systems supported by India aim to reduce disaster damage by 30%.
Global Data and International Cooperation
Situation: Strengthening global data capabilities and fostering international cooperation is essential for managing risks effectively.
Example: The G20 summit discussed progress on knowledge sharing, joint data infrastructure, and risk analysis.
The article advocates for immediate and robust action in disaster risk reduction. While acknowledging the complex challenges, it emphasizes that preparedness and cooperation can significantly mitigate the impacts of inevitable disasters. As put by UN SecretaryGeneral António Guterres, “Extreme weather events will happen. But they do not need to become deadly disasters.”