Asia vulnerable to both natural and man-made disasters: Rajnath
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the asian region is specially vulnerable to disasters, both natural and man-made, which are occurring with increased frequency and intensity.
“Eight of the ten disasters in the world occur in Asia, making two-thirds of the world’s population vulnerable,” Rajnath told a gathering during the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in New Delhi.
Disasters, both natural and man-made are occurring with increased frequency and intensity, he said. “India believes that disaster resilience is the collective responsibility of all segments of society, including governments, business community, non-governmental sector and individuals.”
Rajnath said: “If we all work together with a united focus and a shared sense of responsibility to improve disaster resilience, we will be far more effective than the individual efforts of any one sector. This is, therefore, a timely and important conference, a critical first step in implementing the Sendai framework in our region.”
Rajnath said disaster risk recognises no political boundaries and this includes risks caused by human actions: disasters in one region can, and will, impact other regions. “It is, therefore, also satisfying that today we realise that both disaster risk reduction, and disaster relief need to be supported through bilateral, regional and international cooperation, including partnerships,” he added.
The Home Minister said it is with this spirit of regional and international cooperation that India has supported, and is always ready to support, other countries, specially its neighbours, in disaster mitigation and management efforts.
“We offer the best we have in terms of technology, capacity building and relief expertise to all those in need. We are uncompromisingly committed to regional and international cooperation in this regard,” he said.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, in his welcome address, said in the last few decades Asia-Pacific region has experienced exponential increase in disasters.
“These have often hampered the achievement of development goals. The harshest impact is often on the most vulnerable and marginalised people. The impact of natural disasters has been growing rapidly due to global population growth, urbanisation and increased socio-economic activity-with a tenfold increase in losses from disasters since the 1970s,” he said.