To build back better from COVID-19 and strengthen disaster resilience, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific adopted resolution 77/1 to promote “…discussions on the implementation of the health aspects of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, including by taking note of the Bangkok Principles for the implementation of the health aspects of the Sendai Framework and other relevant regional and subregional frameworks and initiatives.”
The upcoming Asia Pacific Disaster Report 2021 demonstrates that the convergence of COVID-19 with natural hazards has changed the contours of the “riskscape,” giving rise to cascading and compounding effects. As the pandemic rages on, countries are also being hit by cyclones, floods, landslides, heatwaves and volcanic eruptions that expand this risk environment. The capacity of disaster management and public health systems to respond to the disaster-climate-health nexus will determine the recovery path for COVID-19 and beyond.
This Regional Ministerial Conversation aims to discuss the challenges and opportunities emerging from the integration of health preparedness into disaster resilience strategies, as well as the integration of disaster risk reduction principles into the health sector. Ministers will also consider the need for a regional strategy that scales up regional cooperation so countries can collectively address the health aspects of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction while achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The conversation will focus on the following questions:
- As the pandemic rages on, the region is being hit by cyclones, floods, landslides, heatwaves and volcanic eruptions. What are some of the early the lessons learnt from managing these cascading disasters?
- What are the challenges and emerging opportunities for integrating health preparedness and disaster risk reduction strategies as well as integrating DRR principles into health policy planning?
- What are the priority public sector investments for strengthened disaster and health preparedness in the future and how affordable are such investments for your country?
- How can countries strengthen their policy coordination for a more disaster and health resilient region in the future and what role can ESCAP and the UN system play in this regard?