Leadership Development Forum - Accelerating implementation of the Sendai Framework with risk-informed health systems

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Africa
World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa
Economic Community of West African States

Onamo Hotel

Africa is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world. However, disasters continue to pose threats to lives and livelihoods and have resulted in reversing development gains. Global climate change is already affecting Africa as one of the most vulnerable continents, and hence has exacerbated existing disaster risks. Africa is also one of the most affected continents by various types of emergencies including public health emergencies of which nearly 87% are disease [or epidemic] outbreaks. The projected trends show that the frequency and magnitude of disasters will increase even further in the coming years. Further, the impact of climate change is expected to hit hard developing countries that have weak coping mechanisms, many of them in the African Continent.

During emergencies or disasters whether natural or human-made, hazards always strike the health system twice (“double jeopardy” of health systems in disasters). First, like any other system or sector, the health sector can be impacted by the direct effects of the hazard across all its components and services. For instance, during the Ebola outbreak, Human resource for health was directly affected by the outbreak. So was the governance (from direct or indirect effect of the outbreak), the financing, and the service delivery. Second, the increased demand of health care services and level of effectiveness in disasters often stretch the capacity of the health system and may further compound the effect of disasters.

With the financial support from the Government of Japan, UNISDR is implementing the project “Accelerating Implementation of Sendai Framework in Ebola Affected Countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) with Risk-Informed Health System”. Focusing on Priorities 1 and 2 of the Sendai Framework, namely Understanding disaster risk and Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk and also on Priority 4 enhancing preparedness and build back better. The project aims to reinforce disaster and climate risk knowledge and governance through a series of activities including: 1) the introduction of DRR practical guidelines and tools (such as disaster loss database and risk profiling), 2) training and capacity development, and 3) facilitation of partnerships as per the needs of the respective governments and partners involved in strengthening DRR and health systems in these countries.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) will organize a 4-day Leadership Development Forum (LDF) on Mainstreaming Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction into Development (MADRiD) with a focus on integrating disaster risk reduction in the health sector.

This forum will bring together high and mid-level government officials and technical experts from disaster risk reduction (DRR) focal ministries, as well as experts from Ministries of Health, Planning and other development specialists and partners from countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The LDF aims to:

  • Enhance understanding of the nature and scope of disaster risk in West Africa and available approaches to mainstreaming of DRR and adaptation into national development planning and budgetary processes in the context of the Sendai Framework with a focus on the health sector;
  • Enhance leadership capacity of designated national authorities to include disaster risk reduction and adaptation concepts into development planning, with focus on risk management in national health systems and strengthen collaboration with other key sectoral government agencies involved in DRR and adaptation mainstreaming.
  • Strengthen understanding of disaster risk reduction as a multi-sector responsibility, including health, and the role of National Platforms and other national coordination mechanisms in facilitating this.
  • Provide opportunities for structured dialogue, joint problem solving, and sharing of experiences in the region mainstreaming DRR and adaptation into national development planning.
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