Joint Workshop on 'Preparing for Recovery: An Imperative for Building Back Better in Asia'

Joint Workshop on 'Preparing for Recovery: An Imperative for Building Back Better in Asia'

24 - 25 Jun 2024

Manila, Philippines

In the lead up to the APMCDRR, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Government of the Philippines organized and hosted ‘Preparing for Recovery: An Imperative for Building Back Better in Asia’ during 24-25 June 2024 in Manila Philippines. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and built on the outcomes of the 2024 International Recovery Forum.

"With the specter of climate-fueled hazards looming larger than ever and the ongoing recovery from a global pandemic, the imperative to enhance resilience and recovery outcomes has never been more pressing. This workshop serves as a vital platform to build on the outcomes of the 2024 International Recovery Forum and prepare for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction… As we embark on this workshop journey, let us harness the lessons learned from these past experiences and channel our collective efforts toward a future where disasters do not set us back but propel us forward towards greater resilience and prosperity. It is incumbent upon us to leverage these insights and collaborate towards building a more resilient Asia, safeguarding our communities and infrastructure against future disasters."

  • Assistant Secretary Bernardo Rafaelito R. Alejandro IV, Civil Defense Deputy Administrator for Administration and Education, Office of Civil Defense, Government of the Philippines

As per UNESCAP (2023), over two million people have lost their lives to disasters in the region since 1970, this makes Asia and the Pacific region the most disaster-prone in the world. Over the last couple of decades, many countries in the region have achieved visible success in checking the loss of human life. However, given its geographic context, the region remains exposed to geological shocks and extreme climatic events. Additionally, the high density of population in the region and various socio-economic factors add to the risk profile of the region.

It aimed to contribute to the overarching narrative on resilient recovery in Asia for a comprehensive discussion on action-oriented strategies at the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (APMCDRR) scheduled for 14-18 October 2024 in the Philippines.

Senior representatives of national governments responsible for preparedness and recovery from national disaster management offices and federal Ministries of Finance of 17 countries in Asia attended the Workshop.

Experiences of recent recovery initiatives were presented by the countries to understand opportunities and challenges in preparing for post-disaster recovery. The workshop dived deeper into the potential of effective governance, pre-arrangement of finance, use of data and knowledge as well as pre-emptive capacity enhancement, as key enablers to prepare for resilient recovery after disasters.

The need to capture baseline data to inform disaster recovery planning and decision-making was highlighted. Towards this end, the use of information technology to support the efforts of national, sub-national, and local governments to efficiently capture risk information and develop evidence-based pre- and post-disaster recovery plans that are inclusive and gender-responsive, was stressed.

The workshop also underscored the need for recovery financing strategies at national, sub-national, and local levels to ensure sufficient and timely availability of resources to support recovery programs and build back better.

During the workshop, participants shared their experiences and lessons, challenges faced, and strategic approaches to prepare for resilient recovery.

The participants also discussed the need for shared responsibility among all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society, and communities, to collaboratively engage in and contribute to readiness for resilient recovery.

The workshop enabled peer learning and exchange of knowledge between participants from various countries and agencies. Participants expressed the need for greater exchange of good practices between countries so that preparedness for recovery could be undertaken swiftly at the national and sub-national level.