India, US Spearhead Global Disaster Resilience Efforts

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: As co-chairs of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)’s Governing Council and Executive Committee from 2022 to 2024, India and the United States have collaborated to establish disaster-resilient infrastructure around the world in partnership with CDRI’s growing membership.

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On April 23, the United States transitioned the co-chairship to France and will remain actively engaged in the organisation in support of its goals, according to a press release.

Formed by India in 2019, CDRI is a unique global climate initiative that brings together governments, multilateral agencies, the private sector, and academic institutions to strengthen the climate resilience of key infrastructure, including roads, airports, and power grids.

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India is the permanent co-chair of the CDRI Governing Council and Executive Committee, represented by PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Kamal Kishore, Member of, the National Disaster Management Authority and Head of Department, the press release stated.

Over the last two years, the United States, represented by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has held the rotating co-chair positions for a two-year term.

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Under the strategic guidance of its co-chairs, CDRI has witnessed remarkable growth over the last two years, unveiling a new strategic roadmap for 2023 to 2026 and expanding its membership by more than 25 per cent.

CDRI’s 46 members include 39 countries, 6 multilateral organisations, and a private-sector association representing more than 400 companies, forging partnerships that will strengthen infrastructure resilience worldwide. Through this platform, members focus on transforming new and existing infrastructure systems to mitigate climate and disaster risks, sharing knowledge, best practices, and proven tools.

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As global leaders in climate action, India and the United States have promoted financing for infrastructure that fortifies the resilience of communities worldwide in the face of increasing disasters.

During this tenure, CDRI has released the world’s first Global Infrastructure Risk Model and Resilience Index, which will enable countries to predict the risk and estimate economic impacts, allowing for more strategic preparation and resilience efforts.

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In addition to catalysing financial investments for infrastructure, CDRI has also launched initiatives to invest in a future-ready workforce.

Together, the countries have spearheaded transformative initiatives to equip students and professionals to facilitate innovative solutions to infrastructure challenges through initiatives such as the Infrastructure Resilience Academic Exchange and the Higher Education Partnership for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.