Americas meet on Sendai Framework
PANAMA, 7 June, 2016 - More than 170 ministers and delegates from 35 countries of the Americas are expected in Asunción, Paraguay, tomorrow for two days of talks on how to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses across the region.
The region suffered 93 major recorded disasters last year and ranks second only to Asia as the most disaster prone region in the world. Over the last ten years it has accounted for 31.6% of all disaster-related mortality worldwide.
Currently, drought fuelled by El Niño has had a devastating effect. FAO has reported that 3.5 million people are struggling to feed themselves in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, 2.8 million rely on food aid. Staple food production has dropped to its lowest level in 12 years in Haiti, prices have skyrocketed.
The region is also dealing with a major public health emergency as the mosquito-borne Zika virus continues to spread. An active Atlantic Hurricane Season has been forecast.
The meeting will be opened by the President of Paraguay, Mr. Horacio Cartes Jara, and will be attended by the UN Secretary-General Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of UNISDR, Mr. Robert Glasser.
Mr. Glasser said: “This is a very important gathering for the Americas. It is the first opportunity for the region to discuss how to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and a sign of the region’s commitment to strengthening disaster risk governance.”
The First Meeting of Ministers and High-Level Authorities on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in the Americas takes place June 8-9.
The main objective will be the development of guidelines for a regional action plan that will encourage countries and communities to reduce disaster risk and potential losses.
The head for the Americas of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Ricardo Mena, explained the importance of the meeting in Paraguay.
"At the end there will be the Declaration of Asunción and guidelines for the Action Plan, which is expected to be developed between June and the holding of the Americas Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2017 where the plan should be approved,” he said.
The meeting is organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in collaboration with the Secretariat for National Emergencies of the Presidency of the Republic of Paraguay (SEN), with the support of the United States Agency for International Development/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the Department of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Union (ECHO), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNPD) in Paraguay, the Red Cross of Paraguay, Itaipú Binacional and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It takes place in the Bourbon Conmebol Convention Hotel.