Thursday, 29 October, 2020

Global Cooperation To Fight Disasters

Developing nations like Nepal often face numerous socio-economic problems in the wake of natural disasters and outbreak of epidemics. Such countries are disproportionately affected since they do not have adequate resources and infrastructure, and good disaster preparedness and healthcare systems. The devastating earthquake of 2015 that killed almost 9,000 people and ravaged private houses and public structures worth billions of rupees is still in our memory. However, the country has been successful in carrying out the post-quake reconstruction. Learning from the destructive tremour, Nepal government has accorded top priority to creating quake-resistant structures. Besides, every rainy season wreaks havoc across the nation because of the calamities like flash floods, landslides and inundations. These disasters also claim lives of many people. Disasters such as earthquake, flood, fire, volcano, hurricanes and storms are common problems across the world. Although a disaster forecasting system has been created, countries need to work extensively on reducing risks. Preserving the natural ecosystems is also necessary.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Nepal has been grappling with the deadly virus disease. With its weak healthcare system and lack of proper preparedness, the country has now been facing tough time to rein in the contagion. Against this backdrop, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has underlined the need to enhance cooperation among the countries and international organisations, and have a common work approach to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing a webinar organised by Disaster Risk Reduction National Working Forum to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said that the existing health crisis had forced one and all to go for a new global system and collective humanitarian world. The threat posed by the pandemic has really made every country think and act together to cope with the burgeoning health problems and the unprecedented global economic crisis. “The pandemic has forced us to realise that the human relation is beyond the society, country and state," he said.
As the contagion has so far killed more than one million and infected millions of others worldwide, it has severely affected our journey to development and prosperity, process of social justice, equality and happiness. With the rapid transmission of the pandemic globally, no one knows when the existing uncertainty is going to be over. However, efforts are underway to develop vaccines against the coronavirus. As stated by the Prime Minister, it is time to strengthen global coordination and cooperation not only to deal with the pandemic but also manage various natural disasters. In 2015, the global strategy was adopted to combat disasters. In the same year, the United Nations came up with the concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to change the world for the better. The 195 UN member nations agreed to work together for achieving the 17 goals by 2030. But the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be a stumbling block to accomplish these important goals. No doubt, the global strategies to fight disasters and SDGs are closely related. Nepal has already formulated a national policy for disaster risk reduction and created a national strategy 2030 to meet these goals. 

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