Developing skills in Disaster Risk Management urged for a sustainable economic development



First ever Private Sector Emergency Operation Center (PEOC) in South Asia established in Dhaka Chamber

A day-long symposium on private sector participation and leadership in disaster risk management held

Natural disasters can have a significant impact not only on the mass people and environment but also have a severe impact on the private sector. Any disaster hampers supply chain, production and overall marketing of all businesses. In this circumstances, it is imperative to engage private sector in disaster risks management to mitigate the loss and hazards. Speakers told these in a symposium on private sector participation and leadership in disaster risk management and launching of private sector emergency operation center (PEOC) held on 17 May 2022 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel Dhaka. The event was jointly organized by SUPER project initiated jointly by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ActionAid Bangladesh, United Purpose and World Vision. SUPER project is funded by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid.

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman in his speech said that disaster risk has far-reaching consequences from disaster like earthquake, fire and chemical explosion heavily strike on sustainability of enterprise. Bangladesh has taken several policies to reduce disaster risks in the recent past. Bangladesh needs to prioritize disaster management across the private sector. The first ever private sector emergency operation centre has already been established in the Dhaka Chamber. He also urged for proven and institutional financing techniques to mitigate disaster risks and its consequences on businesses. He said that government can ensure debt instruments- bond, grant and transfers, PPP based financing, securitization,  blended financing and low cost bank borrowing under a refinancing scheme to transfer massive risks of affected businesses. Later he said that private sector engagement in disaster risk management can play critical roles towards achieving our long cherished economic vision.

Dr. Md. Enamur Rahman, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief was present as the chief guest. He said that for our sustainable economic development, attracting investment and to face the risks of hazards we need to improve our skills of disaster risks management. Moreover, it is not the only job of public sector rather private sector’s engagement is very important. He said South Asia’s first private sector emergency operation centre has been established in the Dhaka Chamber premises and it will enhance skill of private sector in this area. He also informed that the ministry initiated a state of the art national emergency operation centre that will help create database and provide required assistance. He also emphasized engaging young generation in research and innovation as well as using artificial intelligence to mitigate disaster risks.

Ambassador of the Philippines in Dhaka Alan L. Deniega said in disaster risk management his country allocates five percent of their total budget and in 2018, Philippines established the first ever private sector emergency operation centre in the world. He also said that for capacity improvement in the disaster risk management both the public and private sector should come forward to work together.

Head of ECHO, Bangladesh Anna Orlandini said that for securing a sustainable future linkage between national disaster management system and private sector are very crucial.

Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh Farah Kabir said private sector has to play the dominant role in disaster risk management for their own sake of development and sustainability. Moreover, we should have an integrated risk analysis system under the supervision of public private partnership.

After the inaugural session three parallel sessions titled ‘risk financing strategy’, ‘artificial intelligence based solution for hazard anticipation’ and ‘role of private sector working group and private sector emergency response team to make PEOC functional’. Speakers of the sessions urged for maximum use of artificial intelligence based solution, create awareness through PEOC, sustainable risk finance through green finance, proper database, special allocation in the national budget, research and innovation, public private participation and policy assistance.