New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today called for making disaster management an integral part of the development process, more investments to reduce risk of disaster and increase cooperation among various countries of the region.
In her keynote address at the Second Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction here, Ms Gandhi said disasters affect the poor and vulnerable sections of the society the most, be it women, children, elderly or disabled. So anticipating them and providing relief and rehabilitation should be given priority.
Advocating a regional approach in tackling the challenge posed by disasters, she said the Asian countries must cooperate in rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures in mitigating the sufferings and damages caused by them.
Pointing out the assistance provided by India to the neighbouring countries during tsunami and the earthquake in Iran, Ms Gandhi said the country was ready to reach out to others in times of need and learn from their experiences.
Highlighting the need for more investments in disaster risk reduction, Ms Gandhi said if the investments towards this is not increased, the countries would have to pay a higher price in the long term.
The risk of disasters could be minimised by reaching out to the communities and making them aware, training and enabling them to take steps to face the challenges posed by disasters, she added.
She also recommended that the Flood Control Strategy should be treated as the poverty alleviation strategy.