Developing nations must take necessary steps to promote disaster resilience in order to ensure sustainable development, Fuat Oktay, president of the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), declared at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan under the auspices of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the government of Japan with over 4,000 participants from 186 countries.
Attending a panel discussion on Tuesday, Oktay pointed out that the notable increase in the number of natural, man-made and technological disasters around the globe calls for close attention to building disaster resilience. "Although there are multiple ways to account for the rising number of disasters, we cannot deny that they represent a greater challenge to developing nations," he said. "At this point, building disaster resilience represents an absolute prerequisite of sustainable development."
Saying that Turkey, a disaster-prone country itself, has learned valuable lessons from past catastrophes, Oktay continued that his agency actively challenges the country's traditional emphasis on crisis response in order to promote risk management, which, he claimed, will translate into building disaster resilience. "We seek to raise awareness among students, families, workers and young people through an aggressive training campaign, Oktay said. "The only way to build resilience is to educate all social groups at once."
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