International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

At the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York in October 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure or CDRI. In November, he further requested the BRICS countries and the NDB to join the CDRI initiative.

What is the CDRI?

The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure is a platform where knowledge is garnered through research and shared across borders on different aspects of disaster management and climate resilience of infrastructure. The body aims to create a process to aid countries to upgrade their abilities and methods on infrastructure development as per their risk context and economic needs.

Why is there a need for such a body?

India, like many other countries, in time, has developed strong disaster management practices. These practices have led to a sharp reduction in human casualties. However, the financial burden remains huge as great damage is caused to the infrastructure. For example, although India was meticulous in its reaction to the recent Cyclone Fani which hit Odisha in May 2019, the World Bank puts the cost due to the damage at an approximation of $4 billion. Similarly, the Kerala government has suffered losses of over $4.4 billion in the 2018 floods. Similarly in America alone, there were 10 climate change disasters in 2019. The cost exceeded $1 billion in damages.

What are the proposed benefits of CDRI?

This initiative will help everyone, especially those most vulnerable to such disasters. Usually, the economically weaker sections of society, women, and children are most severely affected. They will at large be the first to be benefitted from the advancement of knowledge and training handling disasters and creating disaster-resilient infrastructure. Areas with high disaster risks such as ones near flooding river banks or earthquake-prone areas will be benefitted the most.

How does it help India?

In India alone, the north-eastern and Himalayan regions are prone to earthquakes. Similarly, coastal areas are at risk of cyclones and tsunamis. The states like Assam and Bihar are flood-prone whereas the central peninsular region is prone to droughts. The CDRI will help them all.

Way Forward

Global cooperation has already been established in many areas, be it defense, energy or space. Taking a step further, joining hands in exchanging knowledge and resources in disaster management is the logical next step. India has been taking initiatives on many grounds, this being another one of them. With the right steps, innumerous human lives can be saved and that’s the greatest reward the CDRI can create.


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