Nations call for public funding of early warning systems

During the closing session of the round table portion of the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, on Tuesday, representatives from multiple countries agreed that public investment in early warning systems was vital.

Michel Jarrud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said that early warning systems would have benefitted nations hit by disasters caused by natural weather, climate and water events. He said that approximately 90 percent of disasters that occurred in the past 50 years were a result of phenomenon that an early warning system could have prevented loss of life. He further argued that the costs associated with these systems had to come from public investment, as they are public goods.

Marion Williams, permanent representative of Barbados to the U.N., stated that the country's focus in disaster mitigation was the hazards themselves and the vulnerability of the population. With that, the government made the expenditures to establish an early warning system. She said that such a system is vital to Barbados and other nations with particular risks associated with the weather or climate.

Khayridin Abdurkhimov,  chairman of the Tajikistani National Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense,  stated that sustainable development is hindered by vulnerability and that the Tajikistan government made funding a program mitigating emergency and disaster situations a top priority.

Organizations in this Story

World Meteorological Organization

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