India launches private sector alliance to reduce disaster losses

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NEW DELHI, 18 March, 2019 – India today saw the launch of a UN-backed initiative to harness the power of the private sector to reduce the country’s exposure to disasters and the huge economic losses that come with them.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, said the new group ARISE India would “turn the private sector’s attention to the importance of action before a disaster strikes and to take advantage of opportunities that emerge to build back better after a disaster hits.”

This brings to 17 the number of ARISE national networks around the world. ARISE is the Private Sector Alliance For Disaster Resilient Communities supported by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. At the international level over 140 companies representing the worlds of finance and industry are members. India is represented on the international ARISE Advisory Board by Nirankar Saxena, deputy Secretary-General of the Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Mr. Saxena said: “It is vital for the Indian economy that the private sector is resilient to the impacts of disaster and climate risks. We must build to last and otherwise anticipate and adapt to potentially disruptive and hazardous events for the well-being of our employees and the communities in which we are located.

“ARISE India is a great step forward in increasing understanding of disaster risk among business circles and will help the country to meet the targets for reducing disaster losses set out in the global plan, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.”

The Sendai Framework advocates for partnership with the private sector to reduce disaster losses. Direct economic losses from disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and flooding are now reaching an average of US$250 billion to US$300 billion annually. The World Bank estimates that disasters cost the global economy US$520 billion annually.

“As captains of industry, you hold enormous influence within your own domains and your communities. Through the investments you make and the decisions you take, you directly impact the built world around us,” said Ms. Mizutori. She also noted that today marks the 4th anniversary of the adoption of the Sendai Framework.