United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres

The United Nations, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for prioritisation of disaster risk reduction in infrastructural development.

In a message to mark the 2019 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, Guterres said there is a strong economic case for climate resilience and reducing the risk of disasters.

He stated that climate resilience and disaster risk reduction must be central to the trillions of dollars that would be invested in new housing, schools, hospitals and infrastructure over the coming decade.

The UN chief noted that besides being the right thing to do, investment in disaster reduction and climate resilience could also ease and prevent human misery and drive economic development.

Guterres also pointed out the “horrendous suffering” that disasters can inflict and the decades of development gains wiped out “in an instant”.

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is observed on October 13 annually.