ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan said on Thursday that awareness should be raised about climate change risks and disasters.“Protecting lives and livelihoods of the people, particularly in the country’s disaster-prone areas through public awareness programmes and integrating disaster-resilience in public infrastructure development policies are vital for addressing poverty, hunger, malnutrition, food insecurity and recurring cost of repeatedly restoring public infrastructures,” the minister said at an event held to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction marked every year on October 13.Highlighting the importance of the international disaster reduction day, the climate change minister said the day offered great opportunity to raise public awareness about viable techniques to reduce their vulnerabilities to climate change-induced disasters, particularly, land and river erosions, forest fires, riverine and glacial lake outburst floods in the country.“However, the role of the government, non-government organisations and media is key in highlighting importance of disaster risk education in the country. It is ranked among the top 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change-caused disasters,” Khan said. The International Day for Disaster Reduction is marked every year on 13th October across the world by the United Nations with the realisation that people and communities around the world need to reduce their exposure to disasters particularly through public awareness activities about the risks that they confront. This includes disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.This year, the day is being marked under the theme ‘Home Safe Home: Reducing Exposure, Reducing Displacement’. The key focus is on highlighting unprecedented importance of reducing the number of affected people by disasters by 2030.This day also encourages every individual, community and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.Khan said that the country had been ranked the 7th most affected country in the world because of climate change-related disasters, which had become more frequent intense and warned that the country’s ranking about vulnerability to disasters could worsen if all relevant federal and provincial government organisations failed to implement disaster risk reduction programmes. Published in Daily Times, October 13th 2017.