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India to play larger role in combating disasters: Rijiju

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Jaipur: India envisages a bigger role for itself in building capacity against disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju today said here.

Speaking at the All India Regional Editors conference here, he said, “India envisages a bigger role in capacity building in the Asia-Pacific region and looks forward to build sustained regional and international partnerships under the Sendai Framework 2015-2030.”

The Minister said the country, in this pursuit, will also hold the first Asian Ministerial conference in Delhi in November this year for disaster risk reduction.

He listed a number of steps taken by India in order to prepare better defences and responses against disasters like raising of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), bolstering its capacities by providing better logistics and training, and deployment of military assets and personnel in friendly countries in the recent past when they were struck with such tragedies.

Highlighting India’s size and its huge diversity in terms of physiography, climate, socio-economic and culture, Rijiju said these factors make the country rank high in terms of reported number of disasters and risk to natural hazards.

“Keeping in view the vulnerability of India to various disasters, the government has brought about a change in the approach to disaster management. The change is from a relief-centric to a holistic and integrated approach covering the entire gamut of disaster management encompassing prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation,” he said.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, with seven targets and four priorities for action.

It is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognises that the state has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local governments, private sector and other stakeholders.

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