Norway Supports Disaster Preparedness

Norwegian Minister Secretary Ingrid Fiskaa visited Thailand this week among others to look into Asia’s preparedness against natural disasters.
 The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) in Bangkok – which this year celebrates its 25th Anniversary – is supported annually with 5 million NOK from Norway. 
 “The global community spends billions on emergency relief after natural disasters. This could be reduced significantly if more focus is put on preparedness,” states Fiskaa. 
 “The earthquake and tsunami in Japan has focused a lot of attention on how to best prepare for new mega-disasters. This is justified. But at the same time, we must not forget the increasing number of high frequency, but low to medium intensity disastrous events,” she added.
 Often small measures can be taken to reduce a country’s vulnerability to natural disasters, she points out, referring to a recent report from the World Bank which concludes that; “Prevention pays, if done right”.
 The central elements in the Norwegian Governments disaster risk management policies are to assess risks, invest in risk mitigation, improve the institutional structure and build capacity. In all these areas, Norway support projects through regional organizations such as ADPC and global initiatives as the UN and World Bank.

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