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India ready to help nations in disaster response: Rajnath


Sendai (Japan): India today expressed willingness to share its expertise and help other nations in disaster response and capacity building and asked the international community to strengthen support mechanisms.

Addressing the third world conference on disaster risk reduction here, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India was committed to work with other countries in Asia Pacific region and beyond in building resilient nations and communities, against disasters.

“We are keen to share our expertise and help other countries in disaster response and capacity building. We envisage a bigger role in capacity building in the Asia Pacific region and look forward to build sustained regional and international partnerships under the post-2015 Framework,” he said addressing the international audience.

Singh said besides the role of specialised agencies, indigenous technical knowledge and community-based methodologies to deal with natural disasters are of utmost importance.

“I would like to share that the government of India has mainstreamed disaster risk reduction in its development policies at all levels. By taking adequate measures for preparedness to handle disasters at all the levels, we were able to limit the loss of human lives to 44 in Odisha due to cyclone Phailin,” he said.

This is in contrast with the death of over 8,900 people in the super cyclone that struck the state in 1999. This substantive reduction could be brought around through regular investments in improving our forecasting systems, apart from capacity building measures involving the communities, he said.

The home minister said more multi-purpose cyclone shelters were constructed during this period and more than a million people were evacuated and brought to safe places, before the cyclone Phailin made landfall.

“We would also like to call upon all entities, public and private, to strengthen the international support mechanisms for disaster risk reduction by sharing of reliable and affordable modern technology for capacity-building and enabling institutional and policy environment at all levels,” he said.

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