The Brics nations say they plan to work together on a shared vision on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
The fourth meeting of Brics ministers for disaster management was hosted in Durban, and centered on promoting cooperation, strengthening resilience, and forging a safer and more secure future for the countries.
eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda welcomed delegates from the five countries by pointing out that the city has experienced its fair share of catastrophic floods in the recent past, adding “we are eager to work with all relevant stakeholders to find innovative and effective ways to build a more resilient infrastructure”.
ALSO READ | Brics expansion ‘historic’
Kaunda said eThekwini wanted to take advantage of some of the technological advances it sees from Brics partners as it adapts to the new reality.
South Africa as the hosting country said as the countries embark on this collaborative journey, it eagerly anticipated the exchange of ideas, shared experiences, and the establishment of new partnerships.
For it is our belief that together, we can forge a future in which disasters no longer have the power to shatter our communities and hinder our progress
“Our shared responsibility, after all, is to protect our people, our economies, and our planet — and as South Africa we stand ready, enthusiastic, and committed to this cause,” said Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Thembisile Nkadimeng.
Brazilian minister of integration and regional development, Waldez Góez said the growth of urbanisation in Brazil created many challenges as the number of vulnerable groups was growing.
“It is important that in our response to disaster we have a holistic approach. The pursuit of concessional funding for climate change adaptation should be a priority, aiming to protect our populations and strengthen resilient infrastructure.”
ALSO READ | Brics to admit six new members next year
He said the response to disaster must take into account the social and economic dimensions of affected communities. Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain from India’s disaster management authority said if the Brics nations succeeded at disaster management mitigation it would mean that half the population of the world would have been saved.
“I propose four strategies that can be used for effective risk management; strengthen disaster management at local level, invest in resilient infrastructure, invest in financial inclusion to support vulnerable families through benefits like health insurance and lastly, sustainable natural resource management.”