Two massive natural disasters in two East Asian countries – Myanmar and China – over the past five weeks have brought home just how quickly and dramatically life and livelihoods can be destroyed. Our experts in natural disaster recovery and reconstruction know this only too well. These are people who specialize in assessing the extent of damage that a cyclone, an earthquake or a tsunami can wreak and what to do to get the basics of life back up and running.
Some of these people – including water resources and transport infrastructure reconstruction experts, environmental damage assessment specialists and social services and livelihood restoration experts – have honed their skills over a number of years in Aceh , Pakistan, Turkey, India and elsewhere. A group of them have been in Beijing over the past two weeks preparing for a workshop for the key Chinese Government ministries involved in the huge recovery and reconstruction effort following the Sichuan earthquake. At the same time, we are working to assist a damage and loss assessment in Myanmar that’s being undertaken by a team made up of staff from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN ), the Asian Development Bank (ADB ), the Government of Myanmar, UN agencies and the World Bank .
Working closely with the countries, I am hopeful that our technical experts will be able to offer effective and timely support during this tragic time for Myanmar and China.