2,500 disasters occurred in 2017-2018 in Myanmar, affecting 500,000 people
Myanmar has suffered more than 2,500 natural disasters in the year 2017-2018, and five hundred thousand people were severely affected by it, said Vice President U Henry Van Thio.
He made the remark at the ceremony to observe the 2018 International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
The Union Government has spend Ks 5.585 billion in assistance and sustainable disaster reduction projects in the 2017-2018
fiscal year, he added.
The theme of the 2018 International Day for Disaster Reduction is “Reducing Economic Losses from Disaster Has the Power to Transform Lives”, and highlights the importance of reducing economic losses brought about by natural and manmade disasters.
The Vice President, who is also Chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee (NDMC), said the annual international event was first designated at the UN General Assembly on 21 December 2009 with written order No.64/200. He said Myanmar began celebrating this day in 2010 in line with the themes set by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).
He said the effects from global warming and climate change can be felt around the world, with a study in 2014 revealing that 50 per cent of deaths caused by natural disasters in that year occurred in the ASEAN region.
The Vice President said economic loss from natural disasters in 2017 rose by 63 per cent from 2016. He said global economic losses between 1990 to 2018 saw the highest loss of USD 400 billion in 2011. According to the World Bank, the ASEAN region suffers an annual economic loss of USD 4.4 billion which is 0.2 per cent higher than the GDP of the region’s nations, he said.
The Vice President said that with the aim to promote cooperation between regional countries and speed up disaster management operations, the 24th ASEAN Summit held in Nay Pyi Taw issued the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration which agreed on adopting the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) of the ASEAN Coordination Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) as the region’s policy framework for One ASEAN, One Response.
He mentioned that Myanmar had formulated the Myanmar Action Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction 2017 to be in accord with both the basic principles and projects related to disaster management and the sustainable development goals included in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
The Vice President said laws and bylaws related to natural disaster management have been enacted and are being led by the National Disaster Management Committee and further facilitated by the subcommittees in the regions, states, districts and townships.
He also mentioned the various accomplishments and ongoing processes carried out by relevant authorities, including conducting seminars to raise awareness on natural disasters, capacity building workshops, public roleplaying rehearsals, building cyclone shelters, roads and bridges for evacuation, multipurpose buildings, and acquiring various vehicles for use in rescue operations.
The Vice President said natural disasters are a major hinderance to a nation’s sustainable development and thus disaster risk reduction action points should be included in all master strategies and project schemes that we devise.
The said the economic loss from natural disasters need to be reduced as the theme for this year suggests, to allow a more disaster-resilient society to emerge that created opportunities for all citizens to participate in, regardless of age or social class.
The Vice President said disaster risk reduction is something every relevant government departments, domestic and international organizations, and humanitarian agencies should consider as an indispensable operation to their organization. He said if every individual actively participates in disaster risk reduction processes then society will become more resilient to natural disasters while simultaneously reducing losses from natural disasters and developing the economy.
Next, UNFPA representative Ms. Janet E. Jackson read the UN Secretary-General’s correspondence which was followed by a viewing of a documentary on the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction.
Afterwards, the Vice President took a documentary photo with the attendants and then toured around the commemorative exhibitions for 2018 International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction.
Attending the ceremony were Union Ministers Lt-Gen Sein Win, U Thant Sin Maung, Dr. Win Myat Aye and Nai Thet Lwin, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman Dr. Myo Aung, Deputy Ministers U Win Maw Tun and U Soe Aung, Secretary of Amyotha Hluttaw Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Development Committee Dr. Win Myint, permanent secretaries, directors-general, deputy directors-general, ambassadors and chargé d’affaires of foreign embassies based in Myanmar, invited guests from UN agencies, international organizations, INGOs and NGOs, members of the media, and other officials.—MNA