Monday, July 28, 2014

Staving off disasters together

Nicola Banwell in the Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh): Collaboration between the public and private sectors, also known as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), can create an enabling environment for community resilience and disaster risk reduction. Public private partnerships involve harnessing investment, expertise, and innovation from the private sector for better public infrastructure – including both physical infrastructure (as in roads, railways, etc) and social infrastructure (such as hospitals, schools, and health services).

Small and medium enterprise (SMEs) and other private sector investment is a key strategy in sustainable development financing in the emerging post-2015 development agenda as well.

There is great scope for harnessing private sector strengths and expertise in disaster risk reduction as PPPs increase access to technical expertise and knowledge, as well as resources and innovative solutions. Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in the private sector can create ample opportunities for the development of innovative technology, and steer public demand and consumers toward disaster resilient materials, solutions, and technology.

Furthermore, because of the private sector’s direct relationship with consumers, producers, and those in the supply chain, private sector investment has the potential to reach a wide range of individuals, communities, and enterprises.

Disaster losses undermine business performance and sustainability, while simultaneously resulting in widespread loss to populations in terms of life, livelihood, and infrastructure. For these reasons, PPPs are of mutual benefit to both parties.

For example, the safety and resiliency of communities can be promoted by the private sector through investment in disaster risk reduction, quality assurance, and standard setting in urban structures, and the development of resilient power and water infrastructure. At the same time these investments also protect their own business continuity, as it enables the private sector to provide their goods and services reliably, with reduced interruption. Further to this, in the event of a disaster, the reliable provision of goods and services allows the community access to vital goods and services....

Fishing in a flooded field in Bangladesh, shot by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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