Invest in resilient infrastructure today for a better tomorrow, says PM Modi

Invest in resilient infrastructure today for a better tomorrow, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for substantial investments in resilient infrastructure to secure a better future, particularly in light of the severe weather shocks attributed to climate change, which have increasingly threatened lives, livelihoods, and economic stability.

“We must invest in resilient infrastructure today, for a better tomorrow. Resilience needs to be factored into new infrastructure creation. Further, it also needs to be a part of post-disaster rebuilding,” PM Modi said on Wednesday at the sixth edition of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). “After disasters, the immediate focus is naturally on relief and rehabilitation. After the initial response, our focus should also include resilience of infrastructure.”

Highlighting the borderless nature of natural disasters and their far-reaching impacts in our interconnected world, Modi advocated for a unified approach to resilience. “Nature and disasters have no borders. In a highly interconnected world, disasters and disruptions cause widespread impact. The world can be resilient collectively, only when each country is resilient individually,” he added, underscoring the importance of shared resilience due to shared risks.

The tangible effects of natural disasters extend far beyond financial measurements, deeply affecting individuals, families, and communities. Earthquakes, for example, not only cause widespread property damage but also displace thousands, while other disasters can compromise critical water and sewage systems, posing significant health risks. The disruption of energy plants by natural events can also create hazardous conditions.

The prime minster also highlighted efforts to bolster the resilience of particularly vulnerable regions, such as Small Island Developing States (SIDS), through targeted support. “To achieve shared resilience, we must support the most vulnerable. For example, Small Island Developing States are at high risk of disasters,” Modi explained. 

CDRI initiatives

He detailed CDRI’s initiatives in these regions, which include funding projects for resilient housing in Dominica, resilient transport networks in Papua New Guinea, and enhanced early warning systems in the Dominican Republic and Fiji.

Under its Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) initiative, CDRI last October allocated grants to 11 projects across 13 SIDS aimed at developing multi-hazard early warning systems, retrofitting housing strategies, climate resilient transport infrastructure, and piloting disaster risk insurance schemes.

Modi noted the formation of a new Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group during India’s G20 Presidency. This group, focused on financing strategies, represents a critical step toward a resilient future, according to the prime minister. 

He concluded, asserting that initiatives like these, along with the growth of CDRI, are pivotal in steering the global community towards sustainability and resilience.

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Published: 24 Apr 2024, 05:16 PM IST

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