As the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged across the world, Asia and the Pacific continued to be exposed to climate-related and geological hazards. In 2020, disasters affected over 75 million people and caused almost 6000 deaths in the region. Of these deaths, floods contributed to 68 per cent, followed by tropical cyclones (16 per cent) and landslides (15 per cent).
In 2020, the floods in India, Japan and China, cyclone Amphan in India and Bangladesh and the earthquakes in Turkey, China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Philippines and India have proven that disaster information management is more important than ever in all disaster risk reduction and management cycles.
It is critical to strengthen our common understanding of risk. We can do so by enhancing capacities in recording, reporting, accessing, and sharing of data and utilizing it for risk analysis. Risk informed decisions improve preparedness and response efforts and, equally important, inform investments to put disaster risk reduction, particularly disaster information management, at the heart of development planning, if we want development to be truly sustainable.
Throughout 2020, APDIM remained committed to its mandate and delivered its programmatic activities under its three key service areas. This report highlights some of the achievements made by APDIM working with Governments at the national and regional level; with partners in regional and international organizations; ESCAP secretariat divisions and regional institutions and other stakeholders. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all partners and stakeholders who collaborated with us. Connectivity, inclusion, and regional cooperation have been the core of all our activities.
I express my sincere thanks to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, APDIM host, for its contribution towards APDIM’s work – both in-kind and financial. I thank our Governing Council members for trusting APDIM’s essential role, as a regional institution of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, in providing Member States with key services to better apply disaster risk information management to risk reduction policies. In closing, I wish to thank the APDIM team, without whose dedication and commitment in such a complex year for everyone, none of the results described in this report would have been possible.
Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific