MM Rahmatullah: Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen requested the UN to help raise public awareness about earthquake preparedness, including by having more open spaces in cities around Bangladesh. He made the request while meeting the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative (SRSG) on Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori at his office on Monday.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister reaffirmed the country’s commitment to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, while the SRSG commended the government’s contributions to the Framework’s mid-term stocktaking exercise.
SRSG Mizutori also confirmed the UN’s readiness to work together with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief on developing an earthquake modeling for the whole of Bangladesh. Foreign Minister underscored the importance of early warning particularly for flash floods in the north-eastern part of Bangladesh. The UN Special Representative offered support for conducting a gap analysis for the country with a view to mobilizing international financing for further strengthening the multi-hazard early warning system.
The UN head for disaster risk reduction urged Bangladesh to share some of the country’s best practices with other disaster-prone countries. She suggested that Bangladesh internationally champion the issues of disaster-related legislation, inter-agency coordination for disaster preparedness, and addressing inclusivity, especially for persons with disabilities during disasters.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister offered to receive delegations from other interested countries to showcase the community engagement model for cyclone preparedness. SRSG Mizutori suggested replicating Bangladesh’s community volunteers-based cyclone preparedness model in the multi-hazards context in other parts of the country.
The Minister and SRSG regretted the dearth of adequate international financing and technologies for developing disaster-resilient infrastructures in vulnerable settings. They agreed to work together to further sensitize the international financial institutions to this issue.
SRSG Mizutori is in Bangladesh on a four-day trip where she is expected to visit some field-level projects being implemented by the UN system.