UN urged to help countries devastated by recent natural disasters to ‘build back better’

Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria may be over, but the devastating impact they had on the countries in their path continues, likewise the effects of successive earthquakes in Mexico, said senior United Nations officials Tuesday, calling for more action at all levels to manage disaster and climate risk and to prepare for future extreme weather events.

As the UN and the international community step up efforts to assist countries affected by hurricanes and earthquakes, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) organised on Tuesday a Special Meeting on the ‘Aftermath of recent hurricanes: Achieving a risk-informed and resilient 2030 Agenda,’ to discuss the current situation along with the economic, social and environmental impacts on those affected.

“These disasters led to tragic loss of lives, displaced people, damaged infrastructure and homes, and disrupted livelihoods in both developed and developing countries,” said Marie Chatardová, ECOSOC President in her opening remarks.

“We have seen how inequalities exacerbated people’s exposure to the impact of disaster,” she continued, noting how easily development gains can be erased if a risk-informed, resilient 2030 Agenda is not pursued.

Saying that the impending cost of recovery and reconstruction in affected communities raises concerns over long-term sustainable development, Ms. Chatardová underscored, “We must help affected States get back on the path towards sustainable development.”

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