World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

In Bangladesh, UN Commends Country's Disaster Preparedness

In Bangladesh, UN Humanitarian Chief Commends Country's Disaster Preparedness

New York, Dec 3 2012 - The top United Nations relief official today lauded the Government of Bangladesh's efforts to enhance its disaster risk reduction, adding that the country boasted one of the most formidable disaster preparedness programmes in the world.

"This is one of the strongest examples of how preparedness saves lives. And preparedness doesn't have to be costly," the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, said in a news release following her first visit to the Asian nation.

Ms. Amos added that with 25,000 community volunteers trained to be the first line of response after a natural disaster such as a storm or flood, Bangladesh had proven that such measures not only saves lives, but are also cost effective.

Low-lying and with the world's highest population density, Bangladesh is one of the world's most disaster-prone countries. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Ms. Amos heads, an estimated 135 million people have been affected in Bangladesh by disasters over the past 20 years.

Nevertheless, the country is also frequently hailed as a leader in disaster risk reduction due to a series of preparedness measures it adopted following a devastating cyclone which hit the country in 1991 and killed more than 140,000 people.

In 2001, when another major cyclone struck, numerous volunteers aided those affected, moving thousands of people away from the disaster area and saving many lives. In comparison with ten years earlier, the death toll from that tragedy was limited to 4,000.

However, Ms. Amos also noted that Bangladesh - situated in a geologically active area of the planet - was also overdue a severe earthquake with a potentially devastating impact on its capital city, Dhaka, where around 40 million people work and where 65 per cent of the buildings are at risk of collapse following powerful tremors.

"The Government is aware that it needs to strengthen this part of disaster preparedness and I commend its initiative to train more than 62,000 community volunteers in urban disaster preparedness," Ms. Amos continued.

During her visit, the UN humanitarian chief met with local Government representatives, as well as UN officials and workers from non-governmental organizations, to discuss the challenges Bangladesh still faces regarding humanitarian access and resilience-building in local communities.

In addition, OCHA confirmed the deployment of a senior advisor to help the Government, UN and local partners in Bangladesh to strengthen support on disaster management.

The visit to Bangladesh is one part of a three-country visit to the region, which includes Myanmar and Thailand. In Myanmar, Ms. Amos is expected to visit Rakhine state - the location of recent inter-communal violence - and highlight humanitarian concerns in the country, as well as discuss with authorities concrete steps to address the challenges and moves towards reconciliation and stability.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

Le Pen Beaten: English Congratulates Macron On French Election Win

Prime Minister Bill English has this morning congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential election. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The French Election Result

Macron is shaping as the third major test case, after Bill Clinton, after Tony Blair – on whether the aim of ‘progressive social policy’ and realities of ‘neo-liberal economic settings’ can be made to credibly co-exist within the same sentence, let alone within the decrees from the Elysee Palace. More>>