Terming the current disaster relief system inadequate, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday called for a better mechanism to strengthen the institutional framework to extend immediate financial help to reduce human suffering in the aftermath of natural disasters.
Speaking at the first session of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Prime Minister said that there was a need for greater attention on fund distribution so that people can cope with the losses they suffer due to natural disasters.
Stressing upon the need for risk insurance and credit facilities for people, he said that the current systems, particularly at the national level, lack institutional incentives and do not promote these mechanisms.
Raising concerns over climate change and its impact, the Prime Minister said that it has posed new challenges, and disaster management strategies needs to be updated to handle floods, cyclones and droughts. He said the nature’s fury in its various forms have been a cause of great misery and suffering in the country.
“It is estimated that the chances of future extreme events would be much higher than what they are today because of the changes in our climate patterns.
“We must therefore ensure that disaster preparedness and development of adequate disaster response mechanisms receive priority attention,” Singh said.
He also said that managing natural disasters is a collaborative and complex exercise which involves institutions at various levels including the Centre, state, civil society organisations and local communities.
He said that while we have made progress in recent years in putting in place institutions and mechanisms for disaster prevention, we have still a large distance to travel.