Friday, September 21, 2012

Governments must recognize their stock of risk – MDG Report

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction: UNISDR chief, Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed the focus on the importance of systematic recording of disaster losses and impacts contained in the 2012 MDG Gap Task Force Report launched by the Secretary-General yesterday.

Ms. Wahlström said: "Access to information is critical to successful disaster risk management. You cannot manage what you cannot measure. The 43 countries which have established and institutionalized national disaster loss data bases are leading the way when it comes to a coherent and targeted response to investment in resilient infrastructure.

"Ultimately, good disaster management makes a strong contribution to poverty reduction by eliminating recurring disaster losses from extensive disaster events such as floods and storms and avoiding interruptions to food supply, health service provision, education and public transport."

The Report entitled "The Global Partnership for Development: Making Rhetoric a Reality" warns that the risk of disasters is increasing in developed and developing countries.  The population living in flood-prone river basins has increased by 114% over the last forty years and on cyclone-exposed coastlines by 192%. More than half the world's largest cities are located in areas of high risk from the occurrence of earthquakes. With growing exposure, the risk of economic loss is increasing.

The report points out: "Further progress in risk reduction will depend on Governments taking decisive steps to explicitly recognize their stock of risk. A crucial first step involves the systematic recording of disaster losses and impacts, and the institutionalization of national disaster inventory systems." ...

November 7, 1824 in the square at the Bolshoi Theatre. Painting by F.Y. Alexeev.

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