Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the response to natural disasters has to be integrated and not isolated, as disasters in one part of the world can have a big impact in a different region. He also said that over 40 countries have now become part of the India-led Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) initiative.
Addressing the 5th International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) 2023 via a video message, Prime Minister Modi said the CDRI is emerging as an important platform, with the participation of advanced economies, developing countries and large and small nations.
“The Global North and the Global South, are coming together at this forum. It is also encouraging that it is not just governments that are involved. Global institutions, domain experts and the private sector also play a role,” he said.
“The CDRI’s theme for this year’s conference is related to Delivering Resilient and Inclusive Infrastructure. Infrastructure is not only about returns but also about reach and resilience. Infrastructure must leave none behind and serve the people even during times of crisis. Further, a holistic view of infrastructure is needed. Social and digital infrastructure are as important as transport infrastructure,” he added.
PM Modi said that resilience is about how quickly systems can ensure the return of normal life.
He said that societies evolve their own local knowledge related to infrastructure that can withstand disasters, and these need to be kept in mind and used intelligently while modernizing infrastructure. “Modern technology with local insights can be great for resilience. Further, if documented well, local knowledge may become a global best practice!”, he added.
He mentioned the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States initiative or IRIS that was launched during COP26 and said that it benefits many island nations. “These islands may be small, but every human living in them matters to us.”
PM Modi said the Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator Fund that was announced last year. “This $US50 million fund has generated immense interest among developing nations. The commitment of financial resources is key to the success of initiatives,” he added.
Recalling the recent spate of natural disasters like earthquakes, cyclones and volcanoes, including the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, he said this has made the work of CDRI more relevant.
PM Modi said that as president of the G20, India has already included the CDRI in many working groups. He said that today’s event is an opportunity for CDRI to contribute to infrastructure resilience, especially against climate risks and disasters.