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UN citation to Naveen for Phailin evacuation

Economic impact of disasters, an area of concern

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

The United Nations (UN) today felicitated Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the state government’s effort to evacuate nearly a million people ahead of tropical storm Phailin that made a landfall on coastal Odisha in October.

Patnaik was present a citation by Margareta Wahlstrom, special representative (disaster risk reduction) of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon at the state secretariat.

“Odisha is the first state to receive such award from United Nation among Southeast Asian nations,” said a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). Patnaik dedicated the award to Odisha citizens saying the biggest ever evacuation programme could be possible because of cooperation from people’s representative, media and officials of weather department.

The state government is in the process of preparing a climate action plan and it will be implemented soon, the Chief Minister informed.

Wahlstrom appreciated the rescue operation conducted by the Odisha government in her speech and invited Patnaik to attend a global event on disaster management to be organised by UN in 2015. Later interacting with the media persons at Press Club of Odisha, Wahlstrom said, though through early warning systems, human casualties in disasters have been reduced, it is the increasing economic impact of disasters which is a major area of concern. “The world is getting richer. So, the economic impact of disasters is becoming more severe in the form of damage to infrastructure, livelihood, business etc”, she said.

Stating that proper documentation and data bank can help in devising risk models and financial instruments to deal with such losses, she said, the countries and communities should work out strategies to lessen the economic impact of calamities.

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First Published: Fri, December 20 2013. 20:19 IST