United Nations Development Program
Disaster Risk Reduction
Forest Hills Eastern
The threat of natural disasters is considered a significant issue in the modern world. In the last ten years, more than 1.5 billion people have been affected by disasters that have cost more than $1.3 trillion. Climate change, weak governance, and increasing population densities are driving disaster risk upwards. There are two sides to disaster reduction: lessening the direct harm of the disaster, and controlling the aftereffects. Avoiding disasters and avoiding mass damage is the best way to combat this issue.
As a country with a high level of disaster risk, Turkey recognizes the need for immediate action. In 1999, the 7.1 magnitude marmara earthquake resulted in over 18,000 deaths and over $28 billion in losses. The Global Facility for Disaster Risk and Recovery (GDFRR) partnered with the World Bank to support reconstruction after the earthquake. Turkey is also prone to landslides, floods, and tsunamis. In recent years, Turkey has become a significant refugee-hosting country. The population distribution along the Dead Sea Rift and East Anatolian Fault zones is rapidly changing; approximately 2.8 million Syrians under temporary protection have been integrated into cities, towns, and villages as of 2017. This is stressing the infrastructure and increasing potential risk exposure. The largest city in the country, Istanbul, lies on the North Anatolian fault. 33% of schools are potentially seismically vulnerable. The Turkish government instituted the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) in 2009. In 2015, the government adopted the Turkey National Disaster Response Plan to guide all disaster and emergency response. The main priorities of the government now is to reduce seismic risk in schools and enhance the capacity to manage the effects.
Turkey urges that the UNDP focus on humanitarian efforts in seismic activity, by partnering with NGO’s including the Turkish Red Crescent, Oxfam International, and the Red Cross in order to raise emergency funds due to earthquakes and other disasters. Also, Turkey proposes increased research on seismic activity with the Global Facility for Disaster Risk and Recovery. The GDFRR has accomplished tremendous efforts in working with Turkey and other countries.
Turkey will endorse any resolution that will institute seismic research and work with current standing organizations focused on the issue of disaster risk reduction.
- Nanda Murali