“From Risk to Resilience: Towards Sustainable Development for All in a COVID-19 Transformed World”
The Argentine Delegation congratulates and thanks the Government of Indonesia and UNDRR for the organization and achievement of this event in the difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We regret not being able to be present at such an important event with colleagues from all over the world.
Argentina reaffirms its commitment to implement the Sendai Framework, both in our country and in the region, as well as the recognition of the central role of the States in promoting active and inclusive public policies with the participation of social actors and aimed at disaster risk reduction.
The COVID 2019 pandemic made it difficult for us to keep the Sendai Monitor updated. This process has been resumed with vigor; in this sense, Argentina will take part in the voluntary Mid-Term Report for implementing the Sendai Framework. We are also consolidating the national damage assessment team with the assistance of ECLAC.One year after the adoption of the Sendai Framework, the Law N°27.287 for the creation of the National System for Comprehensive Risk Management was sanctioned in our country.
Based on this legislation, governance was built around disaster risk management at both national and federal levels, and a five-year national plan for Disaster Risk Reduction was approved. This Plan presents the short, medium, and long-term guidelines for policies related to integrated risk management inscribed in the guiding principles, priorities, and targets established in the Sendai Framework. The Five-Year Plan is complemented by the Annual Operational Plans for Integrated Risk Management.
In 2022, the National Council approved the creation of the Commission on Droughts, which has become one of the major risks throughout the national territory. The National Drought Plan is currently being developed with the support of the Drought Information System for Southern South America(DISSSA). This plan is mainly focused on the effects on agricultural production and on how the current situation shows the need for a more comprehensive approach.
The Ministry of Security is working with the 24 sub-national jurisdictions to adopt disaster risk reduction strategies and provide technical assistance to local governments to develop and adopt risk maps. Along these lines, together with the White Helmets Commission, we continue with the development of the Making Cities Resilient 2030 Initiative. Within this framework, an example of good praxis is the declaration of a water emergency in the Paraná River Watershed.
Given the possibility of suffering a wave of extreme temperatures in the country, alerted by the National Meteorological Service, another good practice was generated. The Chief of Staff of Ministers, in his capacity as President of the National Council, called meetings to prepare for an adverse event and it was concluded that the energy supply and the consequent access to water could be affected.
Thanks to this, it was set up a permanent monitoring table until the wave ended, thus reducing risks and vulnerabilities; as a result, there were no deaths because of extreme temperatures.
The Argentine Republic also offers, as transversal issues, initiatives that recognize gender perspective, sustainable development, and the defense of the environment. In December 2020, the White Helmets Commission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Worship of the Argentine Republic launched an Environmental Volunteer Program to promote eco-systemic restoration and sustainable management of natural resources, in line with climate change adaptation and risk reduction.
Actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic deserve a separate paragraph.
Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, the national government prioritized health, without ignoring the economical, occupational, educational, recreational, social needs. The first decisions taken by the government, besides assigning a specific budget for the administra-tion and regulation of health policies, determined others to compensate for the material affectations, especially in the moments of greatest impact of the pandemic and the conse-quences derived from the decisions to mitigate the effects of Covid-19.
Among other actions, budget allocations were increased for school and community can-teens to attend to the most affected and vulnerable sectors and those most at risk of contagion due to their living conditions.
Thus, the humanitarian, health, and solidarity assistance program "El Barrio cuida al Barrio" was developed to accompany groups at risk and distribute safety and hygiene elements; preventive measures were informed and disseminated in popular neighborhoods, canteens, and community centers. This work was concentrated in those urban areas where the application of preventive and Compulsory Social Isolation was practically impossible to be carried out.
Besides prioritizing the vaccination of its population, and as an expression of its solidarity vocation, Argentina became the country in the region with the largest number of vaccine donations to countries in South America and the Eastern Caribbean that needed to increase the application of first and/or second doses, as well as to Asian and African countries. This was possible thanks to the articulated work between the National Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the participation of White Helmets. As part of this process, Argentina deployed a vaccination process that already exceeded 90% of the inoculated population and, in comparison with all the G20 countries; it was the country with the highest proportion of vaccinated population.
On the other hand, regarding the current armed conflict in Eastern Europe, the Argentine Republic deployed a humanitarian mission for the evacuation of the Argentine population and the population of the Community of Latin America and the Caribbean States from the conflict zones. Within this framework, the White Helmets civilian volunteers provided psychological, food, and documentary assistance, both to the population who expressed their willingness to leave Ukraine and to the Embassies and consular representations in the region that saw an increase in the demand for requests from the population.
Finally, we express our commitment and participation in every forum, meeting, or mechanism that aims to leave no one behind and to "Build Back Better" after the pandemic.Thank you very much