03/02/2017 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) along with the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched the World Disasters Report 2016 in Sri Lanka yesterday. The report which focused on resilience was aimed at providing key players in disaster management with an overview of the trend as to how disasters would affect vulnerable people and what action that is required.
Addressing the gathering the Director General of Sri Lanka Red Cross Neville Nanayakkara emphasized on the role of Red Cross in times of disasters specially when it goes away from the spotlight. “Red Cross is always there and we continue to be there” he said.
Also addressing the gathering the Deputy Director General of SLRCS Sudath Madugalle gave an overview of what the World Disasters Report comprises of and what needs to be done for all key players.
Afterwards the Head of Country Cluster Team of IFRC Leon Prop handed over the World Disasters Report to the National Secretary of SLRCS Nimal Kumar who then presented the same to the guest of honor Mr. S. S. Miyanawala the Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management.
Delivering the keynote speech Prof. Ananda Mallawathanthri the Country Representative of IUCN said that as humanitarian need has reached unprecedented levels and the aid sector is struggling to cope. Raising more money to meet ever-increasing need is not going to be adequate to handle future crises. Counting the number of people we reach is no longer a sufficient measure of success. Something must change. Pre-disaster investments must be taken more seriously to stem the increase in the number of crises. The report gives a vivid picture as to the path ahead.
Later on a panel discussion also took place with the participation of Mrs. Gothami Chandraratne from Disaster Management Department of SLRCS, Dr. Vishaka Hidallage – UNDP Assistant Country Director, Dr. Ananda Mallawathanthri the Country Representative of IUCN, Prof. Samantha Hettiarachchi – Prof of Civil Engineering Department at the University of Moratuwa and Mrs. Anoja Seniviratne – the Director of Planning and Research at the Ministry of Disaster Management.