CBi Regional Workshop for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand
The increasing impacts of climate change and natural hazards continue to be the main drivers of humanitarian needs in the Asia-Pacific region. From 2015 – 2021, disasters due to natural hazards affected more than 800 million people across the region, resulting in 53,000 deaths and damages of more than US$397 billion. Therefore, it is essential for local and national governments, the United Nations, and regional and international organizations to work with businesses and communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.
The Connecting Business initiative (CBi) was established by UN-OCHA and the UNDP to promote strategic engagement with the private sector in preparation and response for emergencies. In line with this objective, the CBi conducted a two-day workshop gathering business leaders, government officials and humanitarian and development organizations from across the Asia and the Pacific to discuss how private sector power and resources could be harnessed to support effective disaster management initiatives. Close to 50 participants from 18 countries gathered to enhance meaningful private sector engagement in national and regional coordination mechanisms for disaster management in the Asia and the Pacific. Representing CBi Sri Lanka, Mr. Firzan Hashim, Country Director of A-PAD Sri Lanka was in attendance.
The workshop encouraged the exchange of good practices and lessons learned and facilitated dialogue on contemporary challenges for private sector engagement. The participants further identified mechanisms to enhance and scale up private sector operational engagement in disaster management. The workshop included interactive exercises such as mapping private sector initiatives and good practices which were led by Mr. Hashim of A-PAD SL. Such initiatives were related to engaging with the private sector in disaster risk reduction, preparedness and humanitarian coordination in Asia and the Pacific.