At G20, Modi will press for global framework on disaster risk reduction

Agency News

New Delhi, Nov 29: India will press for an international coalition, especially of the world's major economies, on disaster risk reduction at the G20 summit in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, starting Friday.

The Indian government has circulated a concept paper to all G20 countries on this subject and got very positive feedback.

Prime Minister, who left for the summit on Wednesday, would elaborate the next steps of taking this forward, said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

"Prime Minister feels that there is space for major countries, particularly the G20 countries, to have some kind of an informal arrangement where we can share capacity building, technical know-how and share experiences immediately after a country faces a disaster which leads to significant infrastructure erosion or development and where the immediate relief has been provided subsequently," said Mr Gokhale.

India has been one of the world's top five countries in absolute economic losses and it is likely to spend 1.5 trillion dollars on infrastructure in the next 10 years.

According to the UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), India suffered economic losses of 80 billion dollars during the 20-year period of 1998 to 2017.

"The prime minister have been of the view that each time a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the world, countries scramble to give immediate relief but don’t really rebuild the infrastructure back to a state where it is resilient next time a disaster occurs," he said.

This is the Modi government's second important diplomatic initiative after the International Solar Alliance.

P K Mishra, additional principal secretary to the Prime Minister, last month said that government has come up with a road map for setting up a global coalition that would support research, knowledge sharing and and mutual technical assistance among coalition partners.

According to Mr Mishra, it would four have verticals -- risk assessment for infrastructure; improvement in standards and regulation for infrastructure sectors; role of finance in promoting disaster resilience of infrastructure and mechanisms for supporting recovery in infrastructure.” (UNI)