Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, Malaysia would like to take this opportunity to commend the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) for the successful convening of the Seventh Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction(GPDRR)as well as the Government of Indonesia for hosting this event.
This year’s conference is a pivotal one, as we have come at a critical juncture in our efforts to make a huge difference in the world we live in. No longer can we afford to make mere promises, but each and every nation needs to make concrete deliverable to make our world safer in order to protect our economy, the environment and people. It has been seven years since the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR)yet we are still grappling with the effects of climate change ranging from floods, storms, droughts due to human activities and as demonstrated by the current COVID-19 surging world population has also brought upon pandemic and epidemic diseases.
Environmental changes driven by climate change coupled with an insatiable exploitation of the world’s resources have rendered people and the ecosystem ever more vulnerable thus increasing the scale of hazards as well as its frequency.Hazards, intertwined with exposure and economic, social and environmental vulnerabilities generates an intricate filigree of disaster risk. This creates a systemic pattern of disaster risk that have eroded years of development processes across all sectors.
The projected global climate temperature increase of 3.2°C is expected to trigger “once-in-one-hundred-year” disaster events to occur every decade and threatens to reduce existing risk management strategies obsolete. As such, it is critical for us to do the necessary stocktaking with the mid-term review of the SFDRR and to discuss a concrete way forward to address disaster risks and in solidarity, build our collective resilience.
Compared to other countries, Malaysia by reason of its geographical location has always been considered less vulnerable. However, in recent years, our exposure to a range of climate-related disasters has intensified in part, due to climate change. Weather extremes are occurring more frequently and with higher intensities causing huge losses in light of rapid development and booming population in urban areas. Compounding this is the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic that compels us to review Malaysia’s existing disaster risk policies and strategies.
Following the adoption ofSFDRR, Malaysia has now fully utilised the Sendai Framework Monitor (SFM)to evaluate our progress in terms of achieving the seven global targets, as well as to reflect on the progress of the implementation of the SFDRR. The tools under SFDRR are important for Malaysia to improve the management of disaster risks, and to fully transform from a reactive disaster management approach to one of managing disaster risks. Since the launch of the online SFMin 2018, Malaysia has reported a strong level of publicly accessible disaster damage and loss database dating back to 2005.
The Government of Malaysia has continually learnt from the shortcomings, challenges, and problems encountered following significant disaster incidences to further improve the country’s disaster risk governance in terms of policy, mechanism, as well as institutional capacity and capability. Efforts are also made in line with increased understanding of hazards, risks and vulnerabilities in the context of changing landscape of disasters exacerbated by rapid urbanization and climate change.
At present, the Government is taking tangible steps to strengthen disaster risk reduction (DRR) governance through the finalisation of the National Policy on DRR and drafting of the DRR Act. Towards a disaster-resilient community and empowerment of DRR management at all levels, the Government is aiming for local governments to adopt and implement their local DRR policies and strategies in line with national level policy, strategies, action plans and programmes.
In order to address climate change impacts, efforts have been carried out by analysing, collecting and managing disaster and climate risk-related data to assist in the processes of conducting risk and vulnerability assessment, in prioritising investment for resilient development, as well as to support sustainable and risk-inform land use planning.
It is important to ensure Malaysia’s development trajectory is not reversed by disasters. Growth resilience is important to ensure the increase in standard of living will continue to flourish. The Government since 1972 have spent billions under the various “Five Year Malaysia Plans” to reduce losses from flood disasters. In the latest 12th Malaysia Plan, green growth will be bolstered to ensure sustainability and resilience. This will be undertaken by implementing a clean, green and resilient development agenda through the “whole-of-nation approach”.
To alleviate the suffering of disaster victims, the Federal and state governments has been disbursing various kinds of assistance.One of the mechanisms available at the federal level is the financial aid disbursement from the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund (Kumpulan Wang Amanah Bantuan Bencana Negara –KWABBN). The fund has provided various financial assistance including compassionate assistance, loss of income; damaged or demolished house; burial cost for fatalities; agricultural damage; as well as livestock and aquaculture damage
Malaysia’s 2022 budget is about bolstering economic recovery and building resilience and driving reform following the strict lockdown measures that were imposed. Themed “Malaysian Family, Prosperous and Peaceful”, the government provides an additional RM4 billion(approximately USD910.232 million), specifically to the Ministry of Health (MOH)to continue the measures to address the COVID-19 scourge. This amount includes RM2 billion (approximately USD455.116 million) for vaccination programme and to increase the capacity of public health service facilities.
Recognising that community awareness is fundamental and their role is a necessary starting point for any disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiative, the Government proactively encourages the participation of communities in Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM)programmes to nurturea sustainable and resilient environment for the local community.
The establishment of strong networks and partnership at national, regional and global levels is a requirement for efficient and effective performance of DRR. This includes fostering relationship with various stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive and multi-sectorial approach to DRR.
To reaffirm our commitment towards the implementation of SFDRR, Malaysia wishes to highlight that we will continue our efforts in reducing the existing risks and preventing development of new risks as well as strengthening resilience to disasters. Wehope thatthe deliberations here will be a success and would yield tangible and concrete plans that can be implemented for the benefit of all member states.