PM Modi today addressed the 5th International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) 2023 via a video message. The Prime Minister said that CDRI arose from a global vision that in a closely connected world, the impact of disasters will not just be local.Therefore, “our response has to be integrated not isolated”, he said. He noted that in just a few years, over 40 countries from advanced and developing countries, large or small or from global South or Global North have become part of the CDRI. He found it encouraging that apart from governments, global institutions, private sectors and domain experts are also involved. The Prime Minister outlined some priorities for discussion for disaster resilience infrastructure in the context of this year’s theme of ‘Delivering Resilient and Inclusive Infrastructure’. The Prime MInister said “Infrastructure is not only about returns but also about reach and resilience. Infrastructure must leave none behind and serve the people even during times of crisis.” The Prime Minister stressed the need for a holistic view of infrastructure as social and digital infrastructure are as important as transport infrastructure.
Along with quick relief, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to focus on early restoration of normalcy too. “Resilience is built in the times between one disaster and another. Studying past disasters and learning lessons from them is the way”, he added. PM Modi underlined the intelligent use of local knowledge of building infrastructures that can with-stand disasters. Modern technology with local insights can be great for resilience. Further, if documented well, local knowledge may become a global best practice, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister noted the inclusive intent of some of the CDRI initiatives. He mentioned the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States initiative or IRIS benefitting many island nations. He remarked on the Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator Fund that was announced last year. This 50 million dollar fund has generated immense interest among developing nations. “The commitment of financial resources is key to the success of initiatives”, the Prime Minister emphasized. Mentioning India’s G20 presidency, the Prime Minister informed about inclusion of the CDRI in many working groups. ‘The solutions you explore here will receive attention at the highest levels of global policy-making’, he said Referring to the scale and intensity of the recent disasters like the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, the Prime Minister concluded by underlining the importance of CDRI’s work and its importance.