Indonesia eyes narrowing down disaster-triggered GDP contraction

Jakarta Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan highlighted the government’s target to lower the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline owing to the natural disaster to 0.10 percent in 2021.

The target is an indicator of increasing disaster and climate resilience as stipulated in Presidential Regulation Number 18 of 2020 on the National Middle Term Development Plan (RPJMN) for the 2020-2024 period.

Hence, Pandjaitan has urged all regions to continue to step up vigil against potential natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis.

“I call upon the governors, district heads and mayors as well as their subordinates to be heedful of this set target. This is important,” the minister remarked while addressing participants of the 2021 National Disaster Mitigation Coordination Meeting (Rakornas PB) here on Thursday.

The government is also eyeing to reduce the time to deliver disaster early warning information to the public, from five minutes in 2019 to three minutes by 2024.

The minister has called upon local authorities to organize disaster risk and mitigation stimulation to support the realization of targets stipulated in the country’s RPJMN for the 2020-2024 period. Pandjaitan reminded local governments to not underestimate disaster and climate awareness. He also cautioned that infrastructure development would be ineffective in the absence of preparation and awareness of potential disasters.

The minister urged local governments to work in an integrated manner in taking requisite precautionary measures and handling natural disasters.

Meanwhile, according to Monardo, head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBN), during the period between February 2020 and February 2021, the BNPB recorded that Indonesia had witnessed 3,253 disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, flooding, landslides, and whirlwinds. “The minister of finance has said that every year, we experience economic losses due to disasters, which average Rp22.8 trillion per year. That is huge. Not to mention, if we look at the statistics of casualties due to disasters in the last 10 years, (we will find) an average of 1,183 people died as a result of natural disasters,” Monardo noted.

The World Bank ranks Indonesia among the 35 nations facing the highest disaster risk in the world, he pointed out.

Source: Antara News