Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Global Disaster Plan Sets Targets to Curb Risk, Losses

Assessing damage in the wake of Cyclone Pam. (Credit: ECHO/Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
Governments set targets to substantially reduce deaths and economic losses from disasters at a U.N. conference in Japan on Wednesday, but critics were disappointed by the lack of a firm goal to ramp up financial support for poor countries.

The non-binding agreement adopted after a marathon negotiating session, includes seven targets to measure progress on protecting people and assets that experts described as a leap forward.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year plan, replaces the current 10-year blueprint.

In the decade covered by the expiring Hyogo Framework for Action, more than 700,000 people lost their lives, and over 1.5 billion people were affected by disasters. Total economic losses topped $1.3 trillion.

Some were disappointed that earlier proposals for percentage goals were rejected.

Instead the draft text includes aims to lower the global mortality rate from disasters between 2020 and 2030, compared to 2005 to 2015, and reduce the proportion of people affected.

Another target is to reduce economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030.

The new agreement also includes targets to reduce damage to infrastructure and disruption to basic services, including health and education facilities, and to widen access to early warning systems and disaster risk information for the public.

But some disaster experts said a lack of a clear goal in the agreement to increase international aid for risk reduction would undermine developing countries' efforts to make progress on the goals.

Only Japan put money on the table in Sendai, promising to provide $4 billion in support over the next four years.

"Rich nations have pushed making financial commitments to reduce disaster risk to a separate round of financing negotiations later in the year," said Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh, referring to a conference in Ethiopia in July.

Read more at New Global Disaster Plan Sets Targets to Curb Risk, Losses

No comments:

Post a Comment