|A training course on disaster preparedness and prevention for workers in industrial and processing zones in HCM City. — Photo ungphothientai.com
HA NOI (VNS) — Disaster preparedness needed co-operation between government, businesses and humanitarian organisations, according to a forum held here yesterday by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Asia and the Prudence Foundation.
The forum, titled Creating Value Through Strategic Partnership, aims to increase awareness of people and enterprises about being ready for disasters.
Participants said co-operation was necessary to reduce losses and hasten recovery.
Richard Welfort, CSR Asia's chairman, said it was no longer about whether the business sector should play a role in building preparedness, but about how to best collaborate.
The most successful collaborations involved using each sector's unique capabilities, he said. Identifying these capabilities would allow each partner to contribute what they do best.
Participants recognised that Asian-Pacific countries, in recent years, had suffered many natural calamities, from typhoons and floods, to droughts and volcanoes.
The vulnerability of the region to natural disasters was highlighted by the recent earthquake in Nepal, where hundreds died and thousands of buildings razed to the ground.
The forum agreed that the significant social and economic cost of disasters emphasised the need to invest in being prepared.
In Viet Nam, every year, two million people a year are affected by storms and typhoons.
In 2014, the country was hit by more than 10 storms and typhoons that killed 133 people and caused an estimated VND2.83 trillion (about US$129.7 million) in damage.
Speaking at the forum, general secretary of the Viet Nam Red Cross, Doan Van Thai, said, Viet Nam was one of five countries most severely affected by climate change, including rising sea levels.
He said that in recent weeks, the south central and Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) regions had suffered serious drought, while the northern provinces were hit by flash floods and whirlwinds.
Thai added that it was time Viet Nam mobilised humanitarian entities and the business community in the disaster preparedness work, he added.
The business community could be a major force in building up infrastructure facilities for transport works, clinics and disaster prevention work, Thai said.
The forum attracted more than 100 participants from the Asia-Pacific region, Previous gatherings have been held in Jakarta and Manila. — VNS