GENEVA (Bernama): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic) took part in a ministerial roundtable at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) on the last day of her three-day working visit here.
In the two-hour session titled “Risk-Informed Investments and Economics of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)”, she shared Malaysia's initiatives in assisting the private and public sectors to make risk informed investments.
Dr Wan Azizah said these initiatives, including the creation of comprehensive hazard maps, which enabled users to identify areas susceptible to disasters before making their investment decisions, were in line with Malaysia's commitment to the Sendai Framework.
Other initiatives included adoption of building and construction guidelines that took into account disaster mitigation requirements, mainstream disaster risk reduction in the development planning and engagement with the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community organisations.
“We hope by pooling the resources and investments of all stakeholders, effective and more inclusive policies and programmes on DRR can be implemented,” she said in her intervention statement at the session, held at the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG), here on Thursday (May 16).
Dr Wan Azizah was leading the Malaysian delegation to the GPDRR, a biennial event coordinated by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and is the most important international forum for strategic partnership, coordination, partnership development and review of the implementation of disaster risk management instruments.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the government had also taken the initiative to identify financial mechanisms to support resilience by exploring public-private partnerships, including the plan to establish disaster insurance and risk transfer scheme.
“No doubt, the need for investment in resilience is important, but the dilemma we are facing is that the cost of disaster risk reduction efforts divert financial resources to other priorities,” she said, noting that the government like many other countries allocated funds mostly in response to disasters rather than for prevention and mitigation efforts.
She said Malaysia now faced the challenge in giving more priorities to prevention and mitigation through DRR investments as it had been observed that it was more economical to focus on preparing for, instead of responding to disasters. - Bernama