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  • January-29-2018

Corporate Social Responsibility as a response to Disaster Risk Reduction

Oceanic Pharmachem Private Limited (OPPL) believes that it is necessary for corporate companies to dedicate their attention towards projects for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and preserve livelihoods from disasters.

Natural Disasters are unpredictable and not under human control. They impact local communities drastically, who are placed in situations of high vulnerability which adversely impacts their socio-economic condition. India’s geo-climatic conditions, as well as its high degree of socio-economic vulnerability makes it one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. India as the second-most populous country in the world and home to the largest number of people in need of basic amenities. The economic and social costs on account of losses caused by natural disasters occur with unfailing regularity encompassing every social segment, including the industrial and corporate sector.

The corporate sector can play a critical and catalytic role in mainstreaming disaster management into its own functioning and make it an integral part of corporate social responsibility. Even though the concept and practice of corporate sector involvement in social development is not new in India, corporate contribution in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) has remained insignificant. Corporate social responsibility in DRR is still one of the least understood initiatives in the Indian development paradigm. Corporate contribution so far has been based on policies and activities that do not directly address DRR.

Today, a concerted effort by Government departments and agencies as well as the community and the corporate sectors has helped in building holistic capabilities for disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness agenda. Recognizing the importance of integrating the corporate sector and their organizations in disaster management, the National Disaster Management Framework drawn up by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India envisages “Involvement of Corporate sector in awareness generation and disaster preparedness and mitigation planning” through sensitization, training and co-opting of the corporate sector in planning process and response mechanisms.

There exists a huge untapped potential for corporate sector interventions into DRR or enhancing National resilience. National CSR policy needs a review and revision, in consultation with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for defining CSR interventions for DRR.

The increase in social and economic vulnerability is often a result of drought, land degradation and political factors which may cause the direct loss of livelihood and ultimately trigger conflict over critical and limited resources such as fresh water, energy and food. NGOs and civil society can encourage the sound enforcement of regulations. All stakeholders could, therefore, be brought on board to assist in determining the most cost-effective approaches to addressing rural and urban resilience.

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