Every year on October 13, International day for Disaster Reduction is observed by the United nations General Assembly from 1989 as a day to build a global culture that will promote risk awareness and reduction of disaster. This day can be commemorated and celebrated with people and communities coming together from all over the world to reduce the exposure to disasters and build further awareness about the risks brought by the disasters and the ways and measures to mitigate them.
The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Japan in March 2015 had adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030. For the initiative, the UN Secretary General instituted “The Sendai Seven Campaign” in 2016, which will promote and resolve seven targets in the seven years. The goal for the year 2020 is “Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020” which synchronizes with the elementary pillars for enforcing the Sendai Framework and is related to Priority for Action 2 that is “Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk”.
Disasters, whether natural or man-made, have a deep impact on the lives of the people in terms of financial, physical, physiological and psychological aspects. The year 2020 brought the global emergency of Covid-19, which required tough calls to be made by the leaders running the country for containing the spread of the virus. This year’s theme concentrates on ‘governance’ which opens up the message that disasters can be averted or combated efficiently when the strategies are in-hand to manage the risk factors associated and to further prevent anything sudden incident.
The present Covid-19 situation along with the always emerging climate changes has put forth the fact that there is dire need to have a distinct vision of the future, have already established plans and competency in terms of implementing them and institutions acting on scientific validations that will bring the ultimate good. So, as the theme follows, good governance is the key to disaster management. In the circumstances that have followed in the year, we have seen leaders like Narendra Modi, Jacinda Arden, Angela Merkel, Scott Morrison step up the game, take charge and make their best attempts to save the lives of the people in the country.
It is time, we believe in the essence of leadership and open our psychological horizon to sink in the power that it can have, not just in terms of operations of the country or state, but also in terms of managing the safety, security and health of the people.