India supports disaster management capacity building efforts in the Asia Pacific region. The country’s role throughout the region as an increasingly capable actor in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance has reinforced India’s role promoting connective partnerships throughout the region.
Due to location and climate, India itself is one of the most disaster-prone areas of the world. The country is exposed to many natural hazards including floods, cyclones, droughts, and earthquakes and these disasters often cause significant damage to property and loss of life.
The Government of India recognizes the need to shift from a post disaster reactive approach to a pre-disaster pro-active approach which includes preparedness, mitigation, and prevention. The Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act in 2005, adopted a National Policy on Disaster Management in 2009, and in 2015 adopted three international agreements including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The country has adopted a multihazard, and multi-sectoral strategy approach, which in turn will create a disaster resilient country.
India has membership in a variety of international organizations, including the United Nations (UN), G-20, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF),
International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), and World Trade Organization (WTO). India is an ASEAN dialogue partner, an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) partner under its Enhanced Engagement Program, and an observer to the Organization of American States (OAS). India is also a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). India fosters bilateral and multilateral relationships with ASEAN member states and the U.S. and Australia which include Defense Cooperation, economic trade agreements, disaster response and assistance and maritime and border agreements.
Along with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, India is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Through its efforts at regional cooperation, India has increased its bilateral trade and investments with its SAARC neighbors. The U.S. is also one of India’s most significant trading and foreign investment partners in the world.
India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has overall responsibility for disaster management along with India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Components of the national disaster management structure include the National Executive Committee (NEC), which assist the NDMA with overseeing national disaster management activities; the Central Government which maintains the authority to issue guidelines to NEC, and State Governments and State Emergency Committees (SECs) to enable or aid in disaster management. All central ministries are involved in DM post disaster recovery activities. The State Governments are responsible for the primary function of coordinating disaster management activities to include the proper establishment of early warning systems (EWS). The Armed Forces are a significant component of India’s disaster management structure and are mandated to assist the civil administration only when the circumstances of the disaster are beyond the State’s coping capacity and when requested by the Civil Administration. Additionally, the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs), the State Police Forces and Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) play a role in disaster response.
India is currently home to over 50 international organizations focused on disaster management, humanitarian needs, international development, human rights, women and children’s rights and protections, HIV/AIDS reduction and education, sanitation, food security, sustainable development and health. India has provided monetary and resource aid to regional nations in the aftermath of a catastrophic disasters. Aid has been rendered to the Philippines (2012 Typhoon Pablo, 2013 Earthquake, 2017 Terrorist attacks in Marawai), Maldives (2004 Tsunami), Myanmar (Cyclone Mora 2017, Komen 2015, Cyclone Nargis 2008, and earthquake in Shan State 2010), Sri Lanka (2004 Tsunami) and to Nepal (2015) Earthquake), etc.