Economic Impact of Natural Disasters

Economic Impact of Natural DisastersEconomic Impact of Natural Disasters

The Supreme Council of Crisis Management headed by First Vice-President Ishaq Jahangiri, which met recently, expressed concern over the recurrence of natural disasters including earthquakes, flooding and forest fires in the country.

Jahangiri said natural disasters have severe economic impact in the long and short-term, IRNA reported.

He pointed to the recent wildfires that destroyed thousands of hectares of forests and said, “Effective measures are needed to preserve and protect national assets. Forests take centuries to grow and reforestation is a long process. Therefore, more care and attention to conserving forests is necessary.”

In the first four months of the current year (started March 21), 274 wildfires destroyed 1,189 hectares of natural forests including several hundred hectares of the Shalam oak forest in northern Ilam Province; however, the figure had declined by 9% compared to the same period last year.  

Jahangiri urged the Crisis Management Organization (CMO) which is responsible for dealing with national disasters and calamities, to pay more attention to issues such as the looming national water crisis and the worsening problem of fine air particles in western provinces.

 “Lack of funding and financial constraints is the harsh reality we face as oil revenues have declined significantly. By prioritizing our goals, we should manage our resources in the best way possible,” he said.

He also pointed to the July floods, due to the freak thunderstorm that caught the meteorological authorities off guard, in several provinces causing immense damage to infrastructure and loss of life in particular in Tehran and Alborz provinces, and said watershed management is an effective strategy to prevent floods.

The CMO should prioritize disaster management and take necessary measures to deal with such issues. Crops had also been severely damaged causing great loss to farmers.”Farm insurance should be considered in the next five-year economic development plan as an effective strategy to fight agricultural crises.”

Tehran urban problems were also discussed at the meeting. Greater attention should be paid to the metropolis due to its burgeoning population, massive construction activities and vehicular traffic and severe air pollution which have adversely impacted the quality of life.

Expansion of air ambulance services, agricultural crop insurance, river restoration to avoid flooding and strengthening of seismic network were discussed and decisions taken.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, head of CMO Esmaeil Najjar, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian, head of Management and Planning Organization Mohammad Bagher Nobakht were present at the meeting.