State Secretary Ingrid Fiskaa joined the Prime Minister of Thailand as main speaker at the 25th anniversary for ADPC in Bangkok on the 23rd of March.
In her speech, Fiskaa highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness and the need for regional capacity building. The Asian disaster center plays a crucial role as a driving force for collaboration between the countries in the region, she noted.
– The global community spends billions on emergency relief after natural disasters. This could be reduced significantly if more focus is put on preparedness, Fiskaa said.
She pointed out that often small measures can be taken to reduce a country’s vulnerability to natural disasters. A new report from the World Bank on the economics of disaster prevention concludes that; “Prevention pays, if done right”.
Fiskaa also visited the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES), a system created after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Fiskaa received information on tools and information sharing between the 26 countries included in the system.
Collaboration in the region was further addressed at a breakfast meeting between government representatives from Vietnam and Bangladesh, hosted by the ADPC director. The countries were represented by the deputy minister for emergency preparedness and climate adaption and acting state secretary respectively. The topic of discussion was how different countries have different needs and challenges.
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.