New global coalition to push for disaster-resilient infrastructure

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Coalition for Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure at the recent UN climate action summit in New York. Its aim is to reduce damage to critical infrastructure caused by climate change.

The Coalition for Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is an international partnership that aims to support developed and developing countries alike to build climate- and disaster-resilient infrastructure.

Headquartered in Delhi and supported by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the CDRI will work in the areas of governance and policy, risk identification and estimation, resilience standards and certification, capacity development, innovation and emerging technology, recovery and reconstruction, finance, and community awareness, according to the CDRI mission statement. The Delhi secretariat will facilitate knowledge exchange, provide technical support and support capacity building.

“Our urban environments are increasingly threatened by extreme weather events. More than two-thirds of economic loss is caused by damage to infrastructure. Seven million people have been displaced this year alone, through cyclones that have laid waste to towns and homes in the Bahamas, India and Mozambique. A lack of risk-informed resilient infrastructure results in lost lives, lost homes and lost livelihoods,” said Mami Mizutori, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure is a transformative initiative that will help cities, communities and governments of the world to build to last,” she said. “We can prevent and mitigate earthquake, tsunami, flood and storm impact by ensuring that affordable housing, schools, health facilities and public utilities are built in line with robust standards required to survive any natural or man-made hazard likely to occur in a particular location.”

The CDRI comes in response to Modi’s call for action to reduce damage to critical infrastructure at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2016. Its 12 founding members are Australia, Bhutan, Fiji, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and the UK.

Image credit: Ricardo Gomez Angel via Unsplash

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