Zhang Monan

Essential emergency response

Updated: 2011-03-15 07:57

By Zhang Monan (China Daily)

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The establishment of such a global surveillance and warning system would help realize the sharing of resources and information worldwide and boost the disaster warning capability of developing nations.

For example, the responsibilities of countries, regions and international organizations should be explicitly defined in case of natural disasters so as to improve the efficiency of disaster mitigation efforts.

A joint relief mechanism should also be set up under the framework of the UN, and all member states should sign an accord that will bind them to offer specific assistance in the event of a natural disaster. International emergency drills should also be regularly organized to improve the disaster-relief capabilities of individual nations and international organizations.

Education on disaster prevention and relief should also be popularized among high-risk countries and regions to improve local people's awareness of what to do in the event of a natural disaster.

An international relief foundation should also be established to ease the world's current funding shortage. Currently, international funds for such purposes mainly depend on government and non-government donations on a voluntary basis, which often means limited funds that fail to meet the demands of worldwide relief work.

In view of this, a long-term and effective funding mechanism, such as the establishment of a global natural disaster insurance system, is desperately needed to resolve the funding shortage in global relief work.

The author is an economics researcher with the State Information Center.

(China Daily 03/15/2011 page9)

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