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Bangkok - 01 Sep 2021

News Number: G/31/2021

ESCAP and Italy partner to strengthen disaster resilience in Asia and the Pacific

The Government of Italy has pledged a US$307,000 (euro 260,000) contribution to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness, which serves to strengthen disaster resilience across the region.

“Managing risks holds the key for a resilient future and the COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that risks are not local but can cascade not only to other parts of the social, economic and environmental system but also across borders,” said Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP at the agreement signing. “This interconnectedness cannot be ignored. We can all agree that with the risks of disasters on the rise, we have unfinished business related to ensuring the sustainability of investments made in early warning systems and reducing the devastation of disaster through regional cooperation.”

“[…]We welcome that the Multi-donor Trust Fund promotes a multi-hazard early warning system and an integrated and people-centered approach that looks at prevention and also at building resilience among the population, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized communities,” said H.E. Mr. Lorenzo Galanti, Ambassador of Italy. “In fact, the Trust Fund is best placed to harness the entire toolbox that ESCAP has identified to deal with these challenges in the region.”

The Asia-Pacific region continues to be hit by a relentless sequence of disasters: cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, droughts, dust storms and heatwaves. These disasters strike without discrimination, but inflict the greatest damage in the poorest communities, including minority groups, people in remote areas and those on the margins of the region’s rapidly expanding cities.

Since its inception in 2005, the ESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness has directly benefited 19 countries, supporting 29 projects with a budget of approximately $15.5 million. At the regional level, it has provided sustained financial support for the establishment of key initiatives that deliver cost-effective warning products and services, particularly for tsunamis and extreme weather systems.

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