Papua New Guinea Ranked 10th Most Disaster-Prone Country

UN says 'significant steps being taken towards developing a long-term strategy'

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 3, 2017) – Significant steps are being taken towards developing a long-term strategy to reduce disaster risk in the country.

That is according to a UN statement.

A global disaster risk study carried out by the United Nations University ranked PNG as the 10th most disaster-prone country in the world.

PNG is exposed to hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, coastal inundation, inland flooding, landslides, cyclones, drought, frost and outbreak of diseases.

These are compounded with social and environmental issues of tribal fights, rapid population growth, urbanisation, poor land management and ecosystem degradation.

Climate change is reportedly exacerbating the frequency and intensity of climatic hazards in PNG and globally.

The National Disaster Centre (NDC) is leading the process of developing PNG’s national disaster risk reduction framework, or NDRRF.

Last week, a national consultation workshop was held in Port Moresby to ensure that the framework captures the needs of various stakeholders in disaster risk management. Participants in this consultation represented government departments, non-governmental organisations, civil societies, UN agencies, development partners, PNG Red Cross and faith-based organisations.

“We want our communities and the country to be resilient to disasters, and this framework will guide all of us to aim for this goal by 2030,” NDC acting director, Martin Mose, said.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has a long history of supporting disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in PNG, and continues to support the government of PNG in this work.

UNDP deputy resident representative, Tracy Vienings, highlighted the importance of strong partnerships for disaster risk reduction.

“Strong partnerships are essential in this work. We are not going to be able to achieve the goals of reducing the risks or building resilience to disasters unless we do this across sectors and in partnership,” Ms Vienings said.

Global disaster studies and research indicate for every K1 invested in disaster risk reduction efforts saves K7 that would be needed to respond and recover from disasters when they occur.

The development of the framework is made possible with funding from the Australian Government.

PNG Post-Courier
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