Increasing physical infrastructure, both in quality and quantity, is a pre-requisite for enhancing economic growth and sustainable development. As per the current trends, more than 40% of the global investment in infrastructure development will take place in BRICS countries. This investment in infrastructure would be inevitably exposed to a range of natural and man-made hazards, roughly estimated at USD 53 billion in BRICS countries, on an annual average.
In 2015, BRICS countries recognized the impact of the losses due to disasters and the need for joint efforts to build resilient infrastructure and agreed to cooperate on various initiatives covering the ambit of natural and man-made disasters.
The first meeting of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management was convened by Russia in St. Petersburg in April 2016, during which the Ministers adopted the St. Petersburg Declaration containing a joint action plan for developing cooperation in the field of emergency management and working towards improving tools for monitoring and forecasting of emergencies, risk assessment and mechanisms of interaction in the provision of assistance in case of emergencies.
During India’s Chairship, the Udaipur declaration was adopted during the second meeting of BRICS Ministers for Disaster Management in August 2016. Under the declaration, they agreed to set up a Joint Task Force on Disaster Risk Management for regular dialogue, exchange, mutual support and collaboration among BRICS countries. The Udaipur meeting also agreed on a road map for implementation of the St. Petersburg Joint Action Plan (2016-2018). The Third meeting of Disaster Management was organized in June 2018 by South Africa.
In 2020, the BRICS Joint Task Force on Disaster Risk Management met virtually. Its outcomes were acknowledged by the leaders in the Moscow Declaration 2020 wherein they reiterated the importance of continuous dialogue among BRICS countries in the field of disaster management.
India’s Chairship in 2021 will aim to take forward the collaboration among BRICS countries in this significant track of cooperation.