Committee: United Nations Development Program
Topic: Disaster Risk Reduction
Delegate: Amanda Jaworsky
School: Williamston High School
Although natural disasters display a wild, uncontrollable side of the environment we live in, our increasing ability to detect and prepare for these events before they hit has given us much greater control over their effects in recent years. It has become increasingly clear how important it is to prepare for natural disasters, especially meteorological events, which caused 97.9 billion dollars worth of damage in 2018 alone. As we face the effects of climate change these meteorological events are only predicted to worsen, making it imperative to create build strong infrastructure as soon as possible to prepare for what is to come. Natural disasters have the capability to inflict many levels of damage on a society and as a result, there are many levels of direct and indirect intervention that can be utilized to lessen the impacts of such events. These levels include mitigation of adverse effects brought on by natural disaster, prevention of damage, transfer of financial burdens to different groups, and preparedness through education.
Like many other countries, there are a variety of natural disasters that Afghanistan is at high risk for. These specifically include earthquakes, flooding, droughts, and landslides. As a result of weak infrastructure and high levels of poverty, Afghanistan does not have the tools necessary for a complete disaster risk management system. However, in recent years Afghanistan has received assistance from the Global Facility for Disaster Risk and Reduction and has managed to begin building the institutional frameworks to combat their high risk of natural disasters. Yet even these efforts have been slow progress as a result of insufficient funds, lack of human resources and insecurity. The largest struggles that Afghanistan faces are political instability and lack of funds, without access to these resources it is impossible to build the systems and infrastructure necessary for proper warning, evacuation systems, and migration plans.
Due to their own personal struggles, Afghanistan emphasizes the importance of proper fund-allocation and guidance to poor and unstable countries. Afghanistan would like to see the creation of stronger international aid in this committee. While the aid currently provided by organizations like the GFDRR is a great assistance to countries with limited funds, even these groups are not able to generate enough for very impoverished countries. Furthermore, Afghanistan would like to see more focus on helping countries develop their own systems that are self-sustaining within the country. The international aid that Afghanistan receives is much appreciated, as is the guidance that is offered alongside it, but one of the problems with receiving so much of this aid is that it doesn’t do as much to build risk prevention and focuses more heavily on disaster relief.
- Amanda Jaworsky