India, UK, Australia to launch IRIS at COP26

What is the News?

India along with Australia, the UK and small island developing states(SIDS) will be launching a new initiative named “IRIS (Infrastructure for Resilient Island States)” on the sidelines of the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK.

What is the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States(IRIS) Initiative?

The IRIS initiative is aimed at creating a coalition for putting in place infrastructure that can withstand disasters and lessen economic losses in island nations.

Under this initiative, Australia, India and the UK have committed an initial funding of $10 million. More countries including Japan are expected to contribute to the initiative.

What are Small island developing states(SIDS)?

Small Island Developing States(SIDS) are a distinct group of 38 UN Member States and 20 Non-UN Members/Associate Members of UN regional commissions that face unique social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities.

Why was the IRIS Initiative launched for the SIDS States?

According to a World Bank report titled ‘Climate and Disaster Resilient Transport in Small Island Developing States’, SIDS countries are highly susceptible to economic losses due to disasters, with average annual losses ranging from 1% to 10% of the gross domestic product(GDP).

According to the UN Global Assessment Report (2017), SIDS countries account for two-thirds of the countries in the world that suffer the highest relative losses due to disasters. These countries also have the highest multi-hazard risks relative to the size of their capital stock.

Hence, that’s why the IRIS Initiative is being launched to support the planning process, build capacity as well as infrastructure in an inclusive way that meets the needs of SIDS countries.

Source: This post is based on the article “India, UK, Australia to launch IRIS at COP26published in “Business Standard” on 24th October 2021.

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