Fighting inequality for a resilient future: UNDRR puts inequality in the spotlight at MENA Climate Week 2023

Fighting inequality for a resilient future

Riyadh, 10 October 2023 – The global landscape is currently characterized by a multitude of challenges, including economic crises, cost-of-living challenges, intensifying inequalities, and pronounced gender disparities. Against this backdrop, disaster risks loom large, further exacerbating inequality and societal vulnerabilities. Studies have shown that disasters disproportionately affect economically disadvantaged communities, with 91% of all fatalities from weather, climate, and water hazards occurring in developing countries between 1970 and 2019.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) held an inspiring event titled "Fighting Inequality for a Resilient Future" during MENA Climate Week 2023 hosted by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh from 8-12 October 2023. The event provided a crucial platform to address the pressing issues of inequality, disaster vulnerability, and disaster risk reduction and came in alignment with the theme of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) in 2023, which looks at the reciprocal relationship between disasters and inequality.

Inequality and disaster vulnerability are two sides of the same coin: unequal access to services, such as finance and insurance, leaves the most at risk exposed to the danger of disasters; while disaster impacts exacerbate inequalities and push the most at risk further into poverty.

The event "Fighting Inequality for a Resilient Future" served as a pivotal platform during MENA Climate Week to engage in insightful discussions and inspire action to combat inequalities within the context of disaster risks and disaster risk reduction. 

Through compelling talks and shared experiences that featured Dr. Mostafa Attia, International Consultant on Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Reduction and a person with a disability, the event underscored the importance of inclusive decision-making and resilient planning for a more equitable and disaster-resilient future. Dr. Attia's personal narrative showcased how individuals facing adversity, such as disabilities, can become catalysts for change and resilience.

The event had several key objectives, including raising awareness about the challenges faced by people with disabilities and marginalized groups, inspiring action to reduce inequality and promote inclusivity, and providing practical solutions and best practices for fostering inclusivity and reducing inequality.

To raise awareness and mobilize action, the UNDRR is utilizing the 2023 IDDRR to raise awareness of the brutal inequality of disasters and call for fighting inequality for a resilient future.

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