TUNIS, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The economic losses caused by natural disasters in Tunisia could reach 138 million U.S. dollars a year, Tunisian Minister of Local Affairs and Environment Riadh Mouakher said on Thursday.
At the Africa-Arab Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Tunis, Mouakher said that floods are responsible for more than 60 percent of economic losses, by causing remarkable infrastructure damages and a significant death toll.
Floods are followed by drought in terms of causing damages and economic losses in Tunisia, Mouakher said.
"Between 2011 and 2018, Tunisia recorded more than 2,550 fires which have devastated about 34,000 hectares of forests," he added.
Mouakher said his ministry has begun implementing a national disaster risk reduction strategy in addition to the creation of a disaster damage compensation fund, as well as the reinforcement of capacities to protect cities from natural disasters.
Kirsi Madi, director of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, indicated that hundreds of casualties and disaster risks can be avoided through the establishment of strategies and action plans, but the most important thing is to implement them.
"Africa-Arab Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction will serve as a basis for evaluating programs and exchanging experience and will encourage the integration of risk management into government plans and strategies," Madi said.