Disaster risks can only be reduced in partnership with the private sector: Ban

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Aerial view of floods in Bangkok (UN Photo/Mark Garten 16/11/2011)

Economic losses from disasters are out of control and Governments bear the primary responsibility for disaster risk reduction, the Secretary-General warned Wednesday at the launch of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.

And Ban Ki-moon said they can only be reduced in partnership with the private sector, including investment banks and insurance companies.  He lamented that for too long, markets have placed greater value on short-term returns than on sustainability and resilience. But at long last, "we are coming to understand that reducing exposure to disaster risk is not a cost but an opportunity to make that investment more attractive in the long-term".

” From the Fukushima disaster in Japan to flooding in Thailand and Hurricane Sandy here in New York, the world has seen how disasters damage infrastructure and interrupt output. Business can no longer afford a 'blind spot' to disaster risk, which is largely ignored in economic forecasts and growth projections. In most economies, the majority of people depend in some way on the private sector for income. Business must become more risk-sensitive. “

Secretary-General Ban noted that disaster risk is increasing with every passing day. He pointed to poverty, rapid urbanization, climate change and other factors that are leaving people and communities ever more exposed.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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