First virtual meeting of the Africa Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Regional Office for Africa and the African Union Commission are jointly organizing the first virtual meeting of the Africa Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction (AWGDRR) to be held on Thursday, 23 July 2020, from 14:30pm-17:00pm Nairobi/Addis Ababa time.
Background : Reconstituted in 2011 in line with the recommendation of the Second African Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (April 2010) adopted by the Executive Council of the African Union in January 2011 (EX.CL/Dec.607 (XVIII), the Africa Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction (AWGDRR) is a principal continental coordination mechanism with a mandate to provide technical and coordination support to Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), African Union Commission (AUC) and partners to implement the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and its Programme of Action. Following the adoption of the Programme of Action for the implementation of the Sendai Framework in Africa in January 2017, the AWGDRR was revitalized to enable it to effectively deliver on its mandate. Meeting twice a year, the AWGDRR has held 15 sessions so far, which resulted in concrete recommendations to advance the DRR agenda across the continent, including through accelerated implementation of the Tunis Declaration (October 2018) and the Africa Common Position to the Global Platform for DRR (May 2019) adopted by the African Union Heads of State and Government. AWGDRR was instrumental in the process leading up to the development and adoption of these two guiding documents.
The 16th session scheduled for 25-26 March 2020 was postponed due to the coronavirus. However, two virtual sessions focusing on COVID-19 pandemic were held-one with RECs DRR Focal Points (24 April 2020) and the other with Member States and RECs DRR Focal points (28 April 2020) in which some AWGDRR members have also participated and contributed to the deliberations, including on issues related to ensuring business continuity of the AWGDRR during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on inputs obtained from the above mentioned two virtual meetings, UNDRR and AUC have developed alternative working modalities to enable the Group to continue its work during the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on facilitating and supporting the implementation of key recommendations that came out of the meeting with disaster risk reduction focal points from Member States and RECs (https://www.undrr.org/publication/covid-19-brief-virtual-dialogue-between-national-and-regional-disaster-risk-reduction) among others.
Objective: The main objective of the meeting is to discuss and agree on the way forward to implement the above mentioned key recommendations with a focus on key priority areas and interventions with the view to enabling Member States to effectively prepare, respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and other hazards.
The meeting will also discuss alternative working modalities proposed for AWGDRR during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Expected outcomes: (i) Concrete follow up actions to strengthen Member States’ capacity to effectively prepare, respond and recover from the COCID-19 pandemic and other disasters such as floods, locust infestations, epidemics and drought; and (ii) agreement on alternative working modalities for the AWGDRR during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Format of the meeting: The meeting will be held in Zoom (invite only) and will include panel discussions in which Member States, RECs and partners will participate. The panel discussions will assess progress made so far and identify ways to enhance the capacity of RECs and Member States to effectively prepare, respond and recover from COVID 19 pandemic and other hazards and associated disasters.
Duration: 2:30 hours
Language: English and French