World needs integrated approach to deal with disasters: PM Modi

PM Narendra Modi called upon the world to follow and take an “integrated approach” when dealing with the impact of disasters.

New Delhi, Apr 4: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called upon the world for taking a “integrated approach” to deal with the impact of disasters and said “Infrastructure must leave none behind and serve the people even during times of crisis”.

“In a closely connected world, the impact of disasters will not just be local. Disasters in one region can have a big impact on a completely different region. Therefore, our response has to be integrated, not isolated” he said at the 5th edition of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, ICDRI-2023.

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He noted that in just a few years, over 40 countries from advanced and developing countries, large or small or from global South or Global North have become part of the CDRI. He found it encouraging that apart from governments, global institutions, private sectors and domain experts are also involved.

Modi underlined the intelligent use of local knowledge of building infrastructures that can with-stand disasters.

“Modern technology with local insights can be great for resilience. Further, if documented well, local knowledge may become a global best practice,” the Prime Minister said.

Mentioning India’s G20 presidency, the Prime Minister informed about inclusion of the CDRI in many working groups. “The solutions you explore here will receive attention at the highest levels of global policy-making,” he said.

Referring to the scale and intensity of the recent disasters like the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, the Prime Minister concluded by underlining the importance of CDRI’s work and its importance.

Noting the inclusive intent of some of the CDRI initiatives the Prime Minister mentioned the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States initiative or IRIS which is benefitting many island nations.

Talking about the Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator Fund that was announced last year he said “This 50 million dollar fund has generated immense interest among developing nations. “The commitment of financial resources is key to the success of initiatives”.

The Prime Minister outlined some priorities for discussion for disaster resilience infrastructure in the context of this year’s theme of ‘Delivering Resilient and Inclusive Infrastructure’.

He said “Infrastructure is not only about returns but also about reach and resilience. Infrastructure must leave none behind and serve the people even during times of crisis.”

The Prime Minister stressed the need for a holistic view of infrastructure as social and digital infrastructure are as important as transport infrastructure.

Modi said CDRI arose from a global vision that in a closely connected world, the impact of disasters will not just be local.Therefore, “our response has to be integrated not isolated”, he said.

Noting that in just a few years, over 40 countries from advanced and developing countries, large or small or from global South or Global North have become part of the CDRI.

“It is encouraging that apart from governments, global institutions, private sectors and domain experts are also involved” he said.

The Prime Minister of India launched CDRI during his speech at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019, with an aim to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development. Currently the CDRI has 31 member countries and eight organisations.