Third virtual meeting of the Africa Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction
Third virtual meeting of the Africa Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction (AWGDRR): Accelerating progress towards addressing priorities identified by Member States to effectively prepare, respond and recover from COVID-19 and other hazards
Thursday & Friday 25-26 March 2021, 14:00-17:00 EAT Invite Only
Format of the meeting: Plenary and panel discussions.
Duration: Two days, 3:00 hours
Language: English and French
Background: Reconstituted in 2011 in line with the recommendation of the Second African Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (April 2010) that was 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 for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) with a mandate to provide technical and coordination support to Member States (MS), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), African Union Commission (AUC) and other partners to implement the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. The AWGDRR focuses its efforts on the Programme of Action for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in Africa (PoA), following its adoption by the African Union Executive Council in January 2017.
Meeting twice a year since 2011, the AWGDRR has held 15 regular (face-to-face) and two virtual sessions so far. The sessions have focused on advancing Sendai Framework and PoA implementation, including through accelerated implementation of priorities identified in the Tunis Declaration (October 2018) and the Africa Common Position to the Global Platform for DRR (May 2019) to strengthen resilience.
The last two virtual sessions held in July and October 2020 in line with alternative working modalities adopted by the Group for the COVID-19 pandemic period, provided a unique opportunity for the AWGDRR to not only build and sustain momentum but also play its full part in addressing priorities identified by Member States and RECs to effectively prepare, respond and recover from COVID-19, while also dealing with simultaneous disasters such as droughts, desert locust infestations and floods. In doing so, the Group also played a leading role in translating the recommendations from the meeting with Member States (MS), RECs and other stakeholders held back in April 2020 (https://www.undrr.org/publication/covid-19-brief-virtual-dialogue-between-national-and-regional-disaster-risk-reduction) into action.
Building on these recommendations and the action points from the first virtual meeting (https://www.undrr.org/publication/1st-virtual-african-working-group-disaster-risk-reduction), the second virtual meeting of the Group resulted in action points to accelerate progress towards addressing priorities identified by MS and RECs, which include strengthening resource mobilization, DRR capacity building, integration of disaster risk reduction into all measures to address COVID-19 and other hazards, understanding and management of systemic risk and the cascading effects of COVID-19 and other hazards, establishment and/or strengthening of multi-hazard early warning systems, as well as improving disaster risk governance, including by fast-tracking the development and implementation of DRR strategies and strengthening multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder coordination mechanisms (https://www.undrr.org/publication/2nd-virtual-african-working-group-disaster-risk-reduction). All these demonstrate, that with support from the AWGDRR, Member States, RECs, AUC and other partners have continued to make great strides in strengthening DRR for resilience across the continent despite the pandemic’s challenges.
Objective: The main objective of the third virtual meeting of the Group is to review progress in the implementation of the action points from the second virtual meeting and agree on the way forward to advance progress. It will also provide an opportunity for the Group to review progress and next steps with respect to the preparations for the next Africa Regional Platform for DRR (AfRP) and the High-Level Meeting on DRR as well as the revision of the implementation matrix of the PoA for 2021-2025.
Expected outcomes: Concrete action points/recommendations to fully address priorities identified by Member States and RECs (action points from the second virtual meeting) and substantive inputs and guidance to move forward with the preparations for the next AfRP and the High-Level meeting and the revision of the implementation matrix of the PoA for 2021-2025.