Disasters such as COVID-19 can significantly impede development. While it is difficult to avoid being affected by disasters, disaster preparedness can reduce the costs, and quicken the recovery.
Sri Lanka was ranked as the second most affected country by the impacts of weather-related losses in 2017, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2019. Worryingly, the country’s situation has worsened since 2016. This highlights Sri Lanka’s vulnerability to climate impacts and the need for effective policies. The good news is that the 2019 Budget proposes several measures to improve Sri Lanka’s disaster resilience. In this blog, Kanchana Wickramasinghe discusses the challenges and gaps in disaster management and the ways in which Sri Lanka can improve its capacity to face these calamities.
It has become apparent that natural disasters have a gender aspect, where women are often affected more severely than men. A woman’s pre-disaster familial responsibilities are magnified and expanded by a disaster, often with significantly less support and resources. The author argues that, given that women are often in a disadvantaged position in many contexts, the promotion of gender equality implies that attention need to be paid to female empowerment in disaster management.
Climate change and related vagaries of weather have increased the vulnerability of the Sri Lankan population to natural disasters. Rural households and livelihoods are more affected by such calamities, which increases the risk of rural families sliding into poverty. As such, Nisha Arunatilake argues that improving the quality of jobs and livelihoods of the rural population is important to build these communities’ resilience to such natural disasters.
Sri Lanka had climbed to the fourth place among countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2016, according to the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI). This means that appropriate climate policies are more important than ever before. In an effort enhance its role in climate policy research, IPS conducted a policy engagement forum this year. The deliberations at the forum reiterated that timely, comprehensive, and evidence-based research is a key pillar in mitigating the impacts of climate change.