Asian MPs urge national funding for disaster risk reduction
Parliamentarians from 10 Asian countries have urged governments in the region to allocate at least one per cent of their national budgets to projects designed to strengthen disaster risk reduction, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) said.
The call came as delegates from across the world gathered in Cancun, Mexico, for the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). State parties to the convention will work to ensure that disaster risk reduction is integrated into the final text of an agreement.
“We need to elevate national and global aspirations in addressing disaster risk from mere ‘reduction’ towards ‘elimination’, and to promote disaster prevention with ‘zero tolerance’ to disaster losses as a mindset and approach for international, national and local development action,” the members of parliament said in their Manila Call for Action.
The appeal was signed by parliamentarians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand.
Meeting in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, the members of parliament pledged to be “agents of change” and agreed “to transcend political boundaries in advancing disaster risk reduction and in fostering synergies with climate change adaptation for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).” The MDGs are eight anti-poverty goals world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.
The parliamentarians, who were attending a consultative meeting under the theme of ‘Disaster Risk Reduction: An Instrument for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals,’ agreed to strengthen their knowledge and capacity in disaster risk reduction through closer collaboration with the UNISDR.
The document also recommended that governments use UNISDR’s Advocacy Kit for Parliamentarians on Disaster Risk Reduction as an instrument for achieving the MDGs.