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India’s Disaster Management Initiatives

India's Disaster Management

Establishment of National Disaster Reaction Force (NDRF):

  • India has taken a proactive approach in handling disasters, focusing on a comprehensive strategy that goes beyond reacting to emergencies. They have incorporated disaster preparedness, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction into their plans and policies.
  • India has become more effective in dealing with various types of disasters, and they’ve even created the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which is the world’s largest rapid response team dedicated to managing disaster situations.

India’s Role as a Foreign Disaster Relief:

  • India is stepping up as a growing contributor, offering significant foreign aid for disaster relief and development to countries in need.
  • India’s humanitarian aid efforts now often involve using its military resources, such as naval ships and aircraft, to deliver assistance to those affected.
  • India’s foreign policy, known as “Neighbourhood First,” emphasizes building strong relationships with neighboring countries, particularly in South and Southeast Asia.
  • Over the past 20 years, India has extended bilateral humanitarian aid to various nations, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and more.

Contribution to Regional Disaster Preparedness:

  • India is actively involved in helping its neighboring countries with disaster preparedness and building their capacity to respond to emergencies.
  • Within the framework of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), India has organized Disaster Management Exercises. These exercises provide a platform for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to showcase their disaster response techniques to partners from other member states.
  • Furthermore, various joint exercises involving the NDRF and the Indian Armed Forces have facilitated interactions between India’s first responders and their counterparts from countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). This collaboration helps strengthen regional disaster response efforts.
  • Over the past twenty years, the world has seen a rise in disasters primarily linked to climate issues. Among these, floods are the most common, and storms come in second as the most lethal, with earthquakes being the only exception.
  • India has embraced the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the Sustainable Development Goals for 2015-2030, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. These agreements highlight the clear connections between disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and sustainable development.
  • India actively participates in various international organizations that work on these and related issues, benefiting from global cooperation.

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