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ADB seeks DRM knowledge partners

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, May 20 (PNA) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) is searching for knowledge partners that can help this organization increasingly mainstream disaster risk management (DRM) in its projects.

ADB DRM specialist Arghya Sinha Roy said the organization is pursuing such bid to promote development of resilient communities, noting disasters from onslaught of floods, earthquakes, typhoons and other hazards are threatening sustainable development in Asia and thePacific.

"Disaster risk is changing," he said, explaining ADB's quest for more partners.

He noted the private sector in particular has new technologies and methodologies that can help address demand of ADB's client-governments for sustainable development and resilience-building.

"If we can therefore play a brokering role, we can bring both camps together for possible demand-supply match," he said.

According to UNISDR, disaster is a "serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts which exceed ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources."

"Disaster risk is the potential disaster losses, in lives, health status, livelihoods, assets and services which could occur to a particular community or a society over some specified future time period," said UNISDR.

UNISDR also said DRM is the "systematic process of usingadministrative directives, organizations and operational skills and capacities to implement strategies, policies and improved coping capacities in order to lessen adverse impacts of hazards and the possibility of disaster."

On Wednesday (May 20), ADB spearheaded in Metro Manila a DRM session focusing on the role of technology and partnership in strengthening communities' disaster resilience.

The session is part of ADB's milestone May 19-20 Partnerships Forum on Innovation for Resilient and Smart Communities.

"It is the first event where more than 150 private sectorcolleagues are convening not as business partners but as knowledge partners," ADB President Takehiko Nakao said at the forum's Day 1.

Aside from delivering needed financing to its clients, he said ADB must increasingly expand its DRM knowledge base so this bank can better respond to its clients' demands.

"Partnering with private firms and other knowledge partners may be the best way forward to get results on the ground," he said.

During Wednesday's DRM session, experts discussed needs and solutions for identifying, assessing and reducing disaster risk.

Participants in the session also learned about Resilient Cities Connect and RISE Disaster Risk Sensitive Investments, two partnerships for strengthening disaster resilience.

The session likewise featured technology-based solutions for improving post-disaster response.

Among those solutions was application of space-based technology as well as information and communications technology to strengthen disaster resilience.

Such solutions also included technology for enabling disaster communication.

During the session, the Philippines' social welfare department discussed its use of technology in a community-driven development program. (PNA)

LGI/CJT/EDS

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