India ratifies SAARC agreement on natural disasters

India became the first country to ratify the SAARC Agreement on Rapid Response to Natural Disasters, said the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretariat in the Nepali capital Kathmandu on Wednesday. Jaideep Mazumdar, charge d’ affaires at the Embassy of India in Nepal, handed over the original Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement to SAARC Secretary General Ahmed Saleem. The Secretary General complimented the Indian Government for taking the initiative to sign the Agreement and said he hopes other countries will ratify it soon.

With natural disasters occurring with increasing frequency in South Asian, the agreement provides a Rapid Response Mechanism to enable member states to take a coordinated and planned approach to providing fast relief and humanitarian assistance in emergencies.