UNDP unveils 10-year risk reduction program

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The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Wednesday announced a new 10-year global undertaking to support countries’ efforts to reduce the risk of disasters.

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In a statement on Wednesday, the UNDP said the project was intended to help countries achieve the goals of the post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The initiative was announced during a special breakfast session entitled “The Power of Partnerships” at the sidelines of the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan.

The UNDP used the event to highlight key elements of the undertaking, as well as to bring on board like-minded partners.

“The only way to protect development gains from disasters and to eradicate poverty is to integrate disaster risk reduction into development and to make all development risk-informed,” UNDP chief Helen Clark said in the same statement.

“The project “will help our partners achieve this by strengthening laws, policies and institutions that enable a comprehensive, all-of-society approach to DRR .”

Called “5-10-50,” it is aimed at supporting countries and communities “to deliver better risk-informed development.”

The initiative targets 50 countries over 10 years with a focus on five critical areas: risk awareness and early warning, risk-governance and mainstreaming, preparedness, resilient recovery and local/urban risk reduction.

Disasters were reported to have killed more than 1.3 million people and cost over $2 trillion in the last two decades alone.

The UNDP’s new program will enable the agency to help partners address capacity gaps, as well as build on a decade of work and nearly $2 billion of investments in DRR.

The UNDP also launched a new report in Sendai to targeted engagement. That report is entitled “Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance: UNDP Support during the HFA Implementation Period 2005-2015.”

The report is a review of the UNDP’s support in 125 disaster-prone countries since 2005, and draws on detailed findings from a selection of 17 countries.

Clark thanked the Japanese government and the city of Sendai for hosting the conference.

She said it was “a demonstration of their continued leadership in the area of disaster risk reduction.”

She commended Finland and Thailand for heading the group of member-states that are leading development of the new Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The framework will succeed the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015) and is the first of a number of global development related processes to emerge in 2015, a critical year for shaping sustainable development.

“The UNDP maintains that a risk-informed development approach is necessary to protect development gains and eradicate poverty,” the statement said.

The 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which started on March 14 and will end on March 18, is being held in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture.

The conference and related events aim to build resilience of nations and communities to disasters through adoption of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

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