Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday Japan would offer USD 4 billion to promote disaster management around the globe over the next four years, such as human resource development and better infrastructure. Abe made the pledge in his speech at the High Level Segment during the UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which kicked off in the northeastern Japanese city of Sendai earlier in the day. "Japan will implement cooperation for disaster risk reduction special to Japan that effectively combines three approaches: non-material assistance, material assistance and the promotion of global and region-wide cooperation," Abe said. "For this purpose, in the coming four years, Japan will provide cooperation amounting to USD 4 billion," Abe said in announcing Sendai Cooperation Initiative for Disaster Risk Reduction. The assistance will focus on the development of disaster-proof infrastructure, the promotion of global and regional cooperation and the training of 40,000 government officials and local leaders to play a leading role in national efforts for disaster risk reduction. Japan will make its expertise and knowledge available. The premier also pointed out that disaster risk reduction is the most important challenge for both developed and developing countries. "For developing countries in particular, where 90 percent of disaster victims are concentrated, disaster risk reduction is a great challenge with a view toward sustainable development and adaptation to climate change," he said. Abe stressed the importance of giving top priority to disaster risk reduction toward the post-2015 development agenda and the formulation of the new framework of climate change, namely promote the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction in the world.
Some 5,000 representatives from about 200 countries, including Kuwait and international organizations, are gathering for the five-day conference in Sendai that was hit hard by the earthquake-tsunami disaster four years ago. The representatives will adopt a new post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction on the final day in place of the current framework adopted 10 years ago at the last conference held in the western Japanese city of Kobe.
Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius made an appeal at the conference opening for the creation of a worldwide early warning system for Climate Disasters, saying that 70 percent of disasters are currently linked to climate change, double the number of 20 years ago. Fabius is incoming President of COP 21, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change which will take place December in Paris. "Disaster risk reduction and the struggle against climate change are totally linked. It is necessary to tackle these problems together and not separately," the minister said. The Kuwaiti delegation, led by Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi, includes Deputy Director-General for Central Operations at the Interior Ministry Jamal Al-Sayegh, Deputy Director-General at the Fire Service Directorate Khaled Al-Mekrad and Vice-President of the Board of Directors at Red Crescent Society Anwar Al-Hassawi.
The delegation also includes President of Alshuabia Center at the Environment Public Authority Dr. Abdullah Al-Zaidan, Director of Civil Prevention at the Interior Ministry Meshal Al-Mutairi, First Secretary at the Embassy here Nael Al-Hayan and Head of Planning and Information Section at the Fire Service Directorate Meshari Al-Faras.