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Sharing China’s Experience to Build Back Better,April 27, 2018 Adjust font size:

The Workshop on South-South Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative: China’s South-South Assistance to Disaster Recovery Efforts kicked off on April 25 in Beijing, organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of Governance (CAG). 

Participants included government officials and experts from 10 countries along the Belt and Road with specific experiences in disaster recovery such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, officials from Chinese institutions, foreign missions and international organizations in Beijing, and global experts from the United Nations. 

The three-day workshop aimed to share the results of China-supported disaster recovery efforts in cooperation with UNDP in five countries, and facilitate knowledge exchange providing developing countries a platform to draw expertise and technology from China’s experience in disaster recovery. 

“There is a growing realization that humanitarian interventions alone are not sufficient, they need to be supplemented and followed by short, medium and long-term recovery interventions. In fact, it is the process of recovery that helps people to come back to normalcy, reconnect to development and improve their resilience. Recovery is an essential pre-condition for development, as recognized by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015,” said Xu Haoliang, UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific.

The 21st century has been marked by an increase in the recurrence and intensity of disasters across regions, exacerbating poverty and inequality by increasing unemployment, disrupting livelihoods and local economies, and stalling or eroding hard-won development gains. Between 2005 and 2016, approximately 23 million people were left homeless. Economic losses from disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and flooding are reaching an average of 1.6 trillion yuan ( $250 billion) to 1.9 trillion yuan ( $300 billion) each year.  

Against this backdrop, in 2017, the Government of China under the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, together with UNDP, provided support for recovery and reconstruction efforts for half a million people in five affected countries: Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, the Commonwealth of Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda. Over 473,826 people in Nepal and Bangladesh have received shelter, emergency kits and relief packages; 18,750 children and 80,269 internally displaced people in Pakistan received new school facilities and aid packages; and more than 850 houses have started the roof rebuilding process in Dominica and Barbuda. 

The challenge is to ensure that recovery assistance, both financial and technical have long lasting impact. “Working closely with governments, we must ensure that funding for recovery is sustained. We need to make recovery assistance consistent and predictable across a country and that it is made rapidly available to the disaster-affected people without any discrimination,” added Xu Haoliang.

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