PM Modi highlights need for resilient infrastructure at 39-nation meet on natural disasters

Insight Online News

New Delhi, April 24 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday emphasised the need to invest in resilient infrastructure as part of the strategy to minimise the damage from natural disasters that are on the rise across the world.

Addressing the sixth international conference on disaster resilient infrastructure through video conferencing, PM Modi said, “Resilience needs to be factored into new infrastructure creation. Further, it also needs to be a part of post-disaster rebuilding. After disasters, the immediate focus is naturally on relief and rehabilitation. But after the initial response, our focus should also include the resilience of infrastructure.”

The Prime Minister said the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) has come a long way since its launch in 2019 and it is now a global coalition of 39 countries and seven organisations which is a good sign for the future.

He highlighted the fact that natural disasters were becoming more frequent and more severe.

“The damage they cause is usually reported in dollars. But their true impact on people, families and communities is beyond just numbers. Earthquakes destroy houses, making thousands of people homeless. Natural disasters can disrupt water and sewage systems, putting the health of people at risk. Some disasters can impact energy plants, leading to potentially dangerous situations. These things have a human impact,” PM Modi pointed out.

He said that nature and disasters have no borders as in a highly interconnected world, disasters and disruptions cause widespread impact.

“The world can be resilient collectively, only when each country is resilient individually. Shared resilience is important because of the shared risks. CDRI and this conference help us come together for this collective mission,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the need for “shared resilience” to support the most vulnerable countries of the Global South such as the Small Island Developing States which face a higher risk of disasters.

PM Modi lauded the CDRI programme for funding projects across 13 such places which include resilient housing in Dominica, resilient transport networks in Papua New Guinea, and enhanced early warning systems in the Dominican Republic and Fiji.

The Prime Minister also said that during India’s G20 Presidency, an important step was taken to form a new Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group with financing at the heart of the discussions. Along with the growth of CDRI, such steps would take the world to a resilient future, he added.

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