Disaster resilience innovations, policy on agenda at aid and development summit

With Myanmar one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to natural and man-made disasters, innovation and policy in this important field will be a major focus at the third annual Aid & Development Asia Summit in Nay Pyi Taw next month.

The event, to be held on June 14 and 15, will bring together experts from across the aid and development spectrum. The agenda will include a panel discussion on building a culture of resilience and strengthening disaster preparedness, as well as roundtables on emergency communication, early warning systems, GIS, data collection and mapping, according to organisers.

Myanmar ranks second on the Global Climate Risk Index, which is compiled annually by think-tank Germanwatch and analyses the extent to which countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related disasters, such as storms, floods and heatwaves. From 1996 to 2015, only Honduras had suffered more than Myanmar, the index found.

A recent report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that “Myanmar is one of the countries at highest risk of natural disasters in South-East Asia and there is an urgent need to strengthen disaster risk reduction activities and to enhance national capacity to prepare for and respond to future emergencies.”

Like Myanmar, many other parts of Southeast Asia are vulnerable to natural disaster, according to the Asian Development Bank.

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“Southeast Asia is a highly exposed area and particularly vulnerable to severe climate change,” said Dr Ancha Srinivasan, a climate change specialist with the ADB.

Meanwhile, man-made disasters like conflict also take a big toll in Myanmar. An estimated US$150 million funding is needed to support over 525,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance across the country in 2017 under the UN’s Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan.

For more information on the Aid & Development Asia Summit 2017, please visit the AIDF website. Frontier Myanmar is a proud AIDF media partner.

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