This session will examine how biological hazards, including epidemics and pandemics such as COVD 19, can be better integrated within Sri Lanka’s development planning, including national and local disaster risk reduction strategies (as per the target E of the Sendai Framework), and in enhancing preparedness for early and better recovery.

Session Objectives

The discussion will bring together different actors involved in health preparedness and DRR preparedness in Sri Lanka, and will focus upon four key questions:

1. Who are the major actors that should be involved in effective, multi-stakeholder preparedness planning for epidemics and pandemics, including those involved with potential cascading impacts?
2. How is epidemic and pandemic preparedness currently embedded within existing disaster risk reduction planning?
3. Do public health authorities have an adequate role in current disaster risk reduction planning?
4. Do existing early warning systems, including the last mile approach, address epidemics and pandemics? What existing early warning infrastructure could be used to strengthen preparedness planning for epidemics and pandemics?

Research teams from the UK and Sri Lanka will present findings from a current study that is addressing these questions. Attendees will be invited to comment upon the emerging findings, identify gaps, and share their experiences in relation existing arrangements and opportunities for improvement.
The results of this discussion will inform the research findings and recommendations that will be presented in a position paper on the state of biological hazard preparedness in Sri Lankan development planning and disaster risk reduction efforts.

Position paper

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