Asia/Pacific Governments urged to invest in preparation for disasters

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Ruins of the houses destroyed by the earthquake in China

Asia- Pacific is the most disaster-prone region of the world with almost two million people killed by disasters between 1970 and 2011.

That's what the head of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, ESCAP, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer said in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday.

Dr. Heyzer told a Ministerial Roundtable on Building Resilience to Natural Disasters and Major Economic Crises, that governments need to take action to deal with disasters.

"Governments must invest in prevention and preparedness because it's far more effective and less costly than recovery efforts, and some of it can be very simple. For example, building codes and retrofitting unsafe buildings and coordinating regional monetary policies, strengthening some of the management of cross-border river basin eco-systems." (23")

Dr. Heyzer also stressed the need to have social safety nets in place before the shocks caused by disasters occur and affect in particular, the poorest and most vulnerable people.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1'08"

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