Vice President Addresses 3rd UN World Conference On Disaster Risk Reduction In Japan

Vice President K.B. Amissah-Arthur says poverty levels in developing countries increase vulnerability levels, thus requiring more resources for risk reduction. This, he observed, makes it difficult to implement an ambitious action plan.

Mr. Amissah-Arthur made the point when he addressed the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in Sendai, Japan on Saturday.

The conference, which coincides with the fourth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, is expected to adopt guidelines on bolstering counter-measures to climate related disasters, which are worsening in some parts of the world.

The guidelines are expected to stress the importance of disaster prevention measures and investment in infrastructure in developing countries so that natural calamities do not hamper economic growth.

Addressing the conference, Mr Amissah-Arthur said, “it will be useful if the world body would propose a monitoring system and introduce measuring indicators that recognize the economic strength of individual countries”.

He also advocated the need to adopt a system for states to subject themselves to peer review in the implementation of the agreements that would be reached at the conference.

Touching on Ghana’s Disaster Risk Reduction plan, the Vice President said “we have established the National Contingency Fund as well as approved the establishment of a National Disaster Fund to facilitate access to resources in times of disaster. Both funds are dedicated to risk reduction and disaster management”.

He said consistent with Government’s determination to boost capacity and enhance risk reduction, a number of tertiary institutions have been encouraged to offer courses in disaster management, and already “three universities now offer under-graduate, postgraduate and certificate courses in disaster management”.

Earlier at the conference, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged four billion dollars in disaster prevention aid, mainly for developing countries.

On the sidelines of the conference, Vice President Amissah-Arthur met with the Emperor of Japan and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, among others.

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