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UNDRR: Disaster Risk ‘Out of Control’

April 10, 2023 Leave a comment DRI Admin

For years, disasters have been getting bigger, more complex, and more expensive. According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), one major reason is inaction on the part of decision makers.

A multi-country review by UNDRR looked at how countries are implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction eight years after its introduction, meant to reduce disaster losses by 2030. The mid-term review has found that “progress has stalled and, in some cases, reversed.” In fact, there has been an 80% increase in the number of people affected by disasters since 2015.

Part of the problem is that – as best evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic – risks are developing and accumulating faster than they can be managed, resulting in more complicated and interconnected disasters impacting larger populations. But as a result, short-term thinking and response has overtaken long-term preparedness efforts that would more effectively mitigate potential risks.

However, there are bright spots in the report. Since 2015, data analysis and quality has advanced, giving countries better tools to adopt a prevention-oriented approach. Disaster preparedness has also become more effective – disaster related deaths have gone from 1.77 per 100,000 in the decade 2005-2014 to .84 in the decade 2012-2021.

As a mid-point review of the Sendai Framework, the report suggests several priorities going forward:

  • Improving understanding of the subject to shift thinking away from managing disasters to managing risk, and encouraging collaborations between risk reduction and statistical communities
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk via regulatory and legislative action and coordinating risk-informed decision-making to involve all stakeholders
  • Further investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience in both the public and private sectors, and
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “build back better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Click here to read the complete report.

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