We must invest in resilient infrastructure today, for a better tomorrow, says PM Modi
Highlighting the crucial role of resilient infrastructure in combating the devastating impacts of natural disasters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (April 24, 2024) emphasized the urgency of investing in robust systems that can withstand them and ensure a safer future for all.
He also turned the spotlight on the often-overlooked human aspect of natural disasters and pointed out how earthquakes and other calamities have far-reaching effects on communities, beyond the measurable economic damage. "Natural disasters can disrupt water and sewage systems, putting the health of people at risk, and impact energy plants, leading to potentially dangerous situations," he noted.
Prime Minister Modi was addressing the 6th edition of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) via a video message.
Investing in the Future
The Prime Minister stressed the importance of incorporating resilience into new infrastructure projects as well as post-disaster rebuilding efforts. "We must invest in resilient infrastructure today, for a better tomorrow," he asserted. With resilience as a foundational aspect, communities can better cope with and recover from the immediate and long-term impacts of disasters.
With the understanding that disasters recognize no borders, PM Modi called for a united global response to enhance resilience. "The world can be resilient collectively, only when each country is resilient individually," he stated, emphasizing the interconnected nature of today's world and the shared risks posed by natural disasters. The conference, hosted by CDRI, serves as a crucial platform for fostering this global collaboration.
Supporting the Most Vulnerable
Special attention was given to the needs of Small Island Developing States, which are particularly vulnerable to disasters. The Prime Minister cited specific examples of resilient housing in Dominica, resilient transport networks in Papua New Guinea, and enhanced early warning systems in the Dominican Republic and Fiji. 
Reflecting on India's recent G20 presidency, PM Modi highlighted the formation of a new Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group focused on financing resilient infrastructure. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to ensure sustainable and resilient growth for all nations involved in the coalition.
The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure Grows
Since its inception in 2019, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) has expanded into a significant global coalition, now comprising 39 countries and 7 organizations. The Prime Minister expressed optimism about this growth, stating, "This is a good sign for the future." He praised the coalition's progress in fostering global cooperation towards resilient infrastructure, which has become an ever more pressing need in the face of increasing natural disasters.
The ICDRI 2024 is set to continue for two days, fostering discussions that aim to strengthen the global dialogue and collaboration on disaster and climate resilient infrastructure. This year's theme, ‘Investing today for a more resilient tomorrow,' aptly encapsulates the conference's goal: to unite governments, the global infrastructure community, multilateral development banks, and the private sector in enhancing investments for sustainable and resilient infrastructure.
As the conference proceeds, the discussions and decisions made will undoubtedly influence the global approach to building infrastructure capable of withstanding the challenges posed by natural disasters and climate change, thereby safeguarding the future of communities worldwide.