Author: UNDRR

DRR at the core of the LDC5 Africa Regional Review

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - New York UNHQ Liaison Office United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Africa

In preparation for the upcoming Fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5) and its Preparatory Committees, the Government of Malawi recently hosted the Africa and Haiti Regional Review Meeting. The objective of the meeting was to review the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) and to assess the structural challenges and emerging issues faced by African LDCs and Haiti in pursuing sustainable development.

Several countries highlighted the need for building resilience including institutional, finance, human capacity, energy, food system, and infrastructure, to be ready to face the impacts of future shocks, climate change and the impact of pandemics. LDC governments also alluded to the importance of climate financing and encourage the integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) in development policies. Several countries focused on the LDC graduation and the need to integrate graduation as a goal into the next Programme of Action as well as within national development strategies. A multidimensional vulnerability index for graduation was also highlighted.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, at the Ministerial Dialogue, underscored the crucial role of DRR in implementing the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs. She stated that Sendai Framework is the blueprint for DRR, and more than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised the importance of developing a multi-sectoral approach to address systemic risk in the LDCs and should be core in the New Programme of Action. She stressed that many LDCs including Africa countries have insufficient data to develop risk-informed policies and called on the support of the development partners. She also highlighted the importance of the coherence between climate change action and DRR. She ended by stating that UNDRR stands ready to offer its full support to the Africa and Haiti LDCs and its partners in their pursue for a resilient society. 

The Chief of UNDRR's Regional Office for Africa, Amjad Abbashar at the session on Building Climate Resilience and Accelerating the Energy Transition in African LDCs expressed the need for Governments to promote a whole-of-society approach to ensure coherent development and implementation of adequately financed DRR, and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) strategies and called for strengthened dialogue among Ministries of Finance, Planning and DRR and CCA structures to mainstream climate and DRR finance.

The Political Declaration of the Africa Regional Review for the LDC5 outcomes highlighted the DRR challenges of LDCs and provided guidance on how the next programme of action might address these. Ministers and representatives of the African LDCs and Haiti in their Declaration called for the integration of DRR within sustainable development. They acknowledged the complex and systemic nature of disaster risk and the cascading impacts of hazards, and the urgency of implementing the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement as an integral part of the 2030 Agenda. They saw financing DRR as a considerable challenge to the implementation of national and local DRR strategies in the LDCs and called for all public and private, domestic, and international investment, as well as bilateral and multilateral support, to be risk informed and aligned with national and local DRR strategies. 

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