United Nations Development Programme
Disaster Risk Reduction
People’s Republic of China
Forest Hills Eastern
In the early-to-mid 20th century, the annual death toll from disasters was high, usually reaching over one million per year. In recent decades there has been a substantial decline in deaths. In most years fewer than 20,000 people die and recently it has often been less than 10,000 deaths. In peak years with high-impact events, the death toll has not exceeded 500,000 since the mid-1960s. Natural disasters strike at the lives of people across the world but hit the underdeveloped countries and the poorest societies the hardest. Those living in the Asia-Pacific region are significantly more likely to experience natural disasters than those in any other part of the world. China is one of the most exposed to natural disasters, with a long history of devastating events and remains at high risk. China has undertaken major disaster risk reduction reforms.
We have established a record of international cooperation in disease risk reduction and management. For example, we have collaborated with the International Strategy Committee for Disaster Reduction in establishing the International Centre for Drought Risk Reduction (ICDRR) in Beijing in 2007. The ICDRR was given the responsibility of promoting international and interregional cooperation and collaboration in drought risk reduction by using satellite technology and developing additional mechanisms to monitor and assess drought risks across Asia. The centre also has concentrated on building databases and a knowledge pool, developing applied technology and enhancing capacity building and public awareness on drought risks. China has been an active nation fostering aid in both Northeast and Southeast Asia as well as Central Asia. In Northeast Asia, there has been a trilateral dialogue process with South Korea and Japan. The Trilateral Heads of Government Agency Meeting on Disaster Management has been taking place since 2009. In Southeast Asia, around October 2014, China and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Disaster Management Cooperation. Under the agreement, China is providing $8.1 million for ASEAN capacity building to improve its response to regional disasters. In Central Asia, the focus has been on the disaster management, cooperation agreements, and processes of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which includes an agreement to establish a dedicated Centre to facilitate this. Additionally, Risk Perception Analysis is a core element. As the European Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction has noted: “Risk perception analysis is the first step in understanding how local cultures identify and manage risk. Risk perception drives how people will behave and manage a particular risk. The inclusion of social sciences and their analytical tools in the national platforms is crucial to have a complete vision of the understanding of risk.”
China believes regions around the world can achieve something similar to Asia. China hopes nations in specific regions work together and invest in their region. China encourages these nations to improve their education and understanding of disasters by creating and sharing a database with nations in their region to predict these disasters. Furthermore, we reiterate the importance of investing in a region’s internal infrastructure to help combat against disasters. China further encourages nations to create clinics to help people cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after a natural disaster.
- Vipul Adusumilli