Bet­ter dis­as­ter man­age­ment vi­tal to coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com

A COM­PRE­HEN­SIVE dis­as­ter man­age­ment plan would go far in im­prov­ing the lives of every­one in the coun­try, said Vice Pres­i­dent U Henry Van Thio.

The vice pres­i­dent made the re­mark dur­ing an event to mark the UN’S In­ter­na­tional Day for Dis­as­ter Re­duc­tion.

“If losses suf­fered as a re­sult of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and the money spent to re­cover from such events was used for the na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment, it would bring ben­e­fits to the lives of cit­i­zens,” Vice Pres­i­dent U Henry Van Thio said.

“To im­prove peo­ple’s liv­ing con­di­tions by re­duc­ing losses caused by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, com­pre­hen­sive dis­as­ter man­age­ment must be pro­moted,” he said.

Last year, Myan­mar suf­fered nat­u­ral dis­as­ters such as floods, land­slides and earth­quakes, which af­fected over 500,000 peo­ple and caused a to­tal of K976.79 mil­lion in dam­age.

The gov­ern­ment pro­vided ad­di­tional fi­nan­cial sup­port of more than K5.58 bil­lion for long-term plans to re­duce the im­pact of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters in 2017, in ad­di­tion to aid for vic­tims of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

In 2011, coun­tries around the world suf­fered eco­nomic dam­age caused by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters to­talling US$400 bil­lion, the high­est losses be­tween 1990 and this year.

Ac­cord­ing to World Bank statis­tics, the ex­tent of eco­nomic dam­age in ASEAN amounts to US$4.4 bil­lion a year, or 0.2 per­cent of GDP.

“Nat­u­ral dis­as­ters are a chal­lenge that hin­ders sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, there­fore the gov­ern­ment is try­ing to re­duce the ex­tent of dam­age as much as pos­si­ble,” said U Henry Van Thio.

“When it comes to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, those who have to re­spond first are the pub­lic. We have to im­prove the abil­ity of the pub­lic to re­spond to dis­as­ters, as well as the abil­ity of of­fi­cials who have to fol­low up,” he added.

Photo: Kaung Htet

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