The Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) has launched the 2022 World Disaster Report with a call for adequate investments towards disaster preparedness and response.
The report, which addresses the shortfalls of preparedness ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, focuses on effective preparedness for future public health emergencies.
Representing a culmination of collective knowledge, experiences, and aspirations in the field of disaster preparedness and response, the report serves as a guide towards a future of resilient communities.
It details preparedness as an ongoing process that requires listening, reflection, and collaboration built on trust and the leadership of local communities.
Themed: “Trust, Equity and Local Action; Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic to avert the next global crisis,” the 2022 World Disaster Report highlights a significant phase in society’s role, which recognises the central role played by trust and equity in effective responses to pandemics and disasters.
At the launch in Accra, Kwame Gyimah-Akwafo, President of the GRCS, said the report came at a time when the world had witnessed the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had stretched resources, and exposed the vulnerabilities of the system.
Mr Gyimah-Akwafo who called for a review and strengthening of local laws and policies, urged the government to prioritise disaster preparedness and allocate resources towards it.
“We have realised that the cost of inaction far exceeds the investment required for preparedness,” he said.
Citing the report as a roadmap for that change, the GRCS President said: “We must build trust between communities and authorities, fostering strong partnerships that promote transparency, inclusivity, and shared responsibility.”
He noted that equity must be at the core of actions to ensure that no one was left behind regardless of their socioeconomic status, gender, or geographic location.
While urging the government to commit resources towards disaster preparedness and response, Mr Gyimah-Akwafo said the GRCS stood ready to support efforts to prevent and managed disasters.
“We are uniquely positioned to bridge the gaps between public authorities and communities,” he said.
Launching the report, the Director General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Eric Nana Agyeman-Prempeh, said the report would enhance multi-stakeholder coordination mechanisms and efforts.
He indicated that the report would also encourage collaboration between stakeholders for resource maximization and minimise disaster risks and losses to build disaster resilient communities.
The NADMO Boss thanked development partners for their support over the years and said since its establishment in 1996, the Organisation had undergone several legal and policy review stages to increase its capacity to help Ghana meet her obligations under disaster related international conventions such as the Sendai Framework.
“Discussions such as this will enable citizens and policy makers to properly shape policies and resource allocation to meet disaster management needs, capacity requirements and disaster risk knowledge gaps to increase total community and country resilience to disasters,” he stated.
Released every two years by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the World Disaster Report provides data and analysis on the global impacts of disasters.
The 2022 Report focused on preparedness, with a specific highlight on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The launch was held in partnership with the National Disaster Management Organisation.
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