Coping in a very dangerous world

As the CVD-19 epidemic shows, most countries are still not ready for a series of catastrophic crises

Climate change is increasing the risk of catastrophic events such as heat waves, heavy rains and floods, droughts, tropical storms and wildfires. Photo – Star

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Climate change is increasing the risk of catastrophic events such as heat waves, heavy rains and floods, droughts, tropical storms and wildfires. Photo – Star

Over the past two decades, the Asia-Pacific region has made remarkable progress in disaster management. But the nations will never leave their guards. The CVD-19 epidemic, now dominated by Asia, and all its tragic consequences, have exposed the weaknesses of human society in the face of powerful natural forces. A.D. By mid-August 2021, Asia and the Pacific had reported 65 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than one million deaths. This is compounded by the extreme weather events that affect the whole world. Climate change was evident in parts of North America, southern Europe, and parts of Asia, with floods occurring in parts of China, India, and Western Europe.

Disasters (including biological ones) and climate change have been recorded in the United Nations Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2021 Asia-Pacific Disaster Report. Climate change is showing increasing risk of catastrophic events such as heat waves, heavy rains and floods, droughts, tropical storms and wildfires. Volcanic and related biological hazards are expected to increase, especially in East and Northeast Asia, and are experiencing worsening floods and related diseases in southern and southwestern Asia. However, in recent decades few people have died as a result of natural disasters, such as hurricanes or floods. This is partly the result of stronger early warning systems and responsive protection, but governments have begun to appreciate the need for coordinated disaster response rather than just responding to disasters.

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Nevertheless, much remains to be done. As the CVD-19 epidemic shows, most countries are still unprepared for a series of crises — often conflicting, inciting one another. For example, tropical storms can lead to floods, which can lead to disease, which in turn exacerbates poverty. In the five most vulnerable areas of the region, human and economic devastation during these interconnected crises poses a threat to the livelihoods of the poor in many of the region’s vast river basins.

Accidents not only endanger human life but also the quality of life. And as their impact on climate change worsens, they may become more expensive in the future. The annual loss of natural and biological disasters throughout Asia and the Pacific is estimated at $ 780 billion. In the worst case of climate change, the annual economic loss caused by these catastrophes could be as high as $ 1.3 trillion – equivalent to 4.2 percent of the region’s gross domestic product.

Countries do much better to make their people and infrastructure more flexible, rather than making human and economic costs inevitable. This includes the completion of schools and other buildings that provide shelter and support in times of crisis, such as bridges and roads. Above all, governments need to invest in stronger health infrastructure. This requires a lot of resources. The annual cost of adaptation to natural and other biological hazards is estimated at $ 270 billion. However, it is only one-fifth of the estimated annual loss or 0.85 percent of Asia-Pacific gross domestic product.

Where can more money come from? Some may come from regular budget revenues. Governments can look at new, new sources of funding, such as new climate resilience bonds, debt flexibility, and debt relief initiatives.

Covid-19 How all disasters are intertwined: The public health crisis quickly demonstrates how economic disasters and social unrest can provoke. This is what a “systemic disaster” means, and this is the kind of danger that policymakers have to deal with now if they want to protect their poor citizens.

This does not mean responding quickly to aid packages, but creating strong social protection systems that protect emergencies and make vulnerable communities safer and stronger. Fortunately, According to the 2021 Asia-Pacific Disaster Report, the new technology, which is widely used in mobile phones, offers many opportunities to connect people and communities with money and other forms of support. Countries have turned to “border technologies” as artificial intelligence and big data to better identify, understand and discontinue CV-19 distribution strategies. They also use advanced modeling techniques for pre-testing, rapid testing and retention.

Asia and the Pacific are huge and diverse regions. Disasters in the mountains of Central Asia are very different from those in the small islands of the Pacific Ocean. But all countries need to have in common, healthy principles for disaster management in a more coordinated and systematic manner – principles that apply through political commitment and strong regional and sub-regional cooperation.

Armeda Salsaya Alishaba is the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the United Nations Commission on Asia and the Pacific (ECCC).

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