SRSG Mizutori's remarks at High-level Ministerial Event for the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan

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United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

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High-level Ministerial Event for the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan 

13th September 2021

 

     Remarks by the Ms. Mami Mizutori, SRSG for Disaster Risk Reduction

Secretary General, Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

    1. The precarious humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, including population displacement and food insecurity, had already been amplified over the past years, as a result of the combined impact of climate and disaster risk, pandemic, conflict and security crisis. 

    1. In order to address these challenges, in 2018, the Afghanistan Government approved a National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy, supported by development partners including the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. This Strategy improved risk understanding, disaster impact monitoring, and enhanced early warning. For example, the anticipatory action triggered in May this year ahead of a drought emergency declaration, reduced livelihood losses and prevented negative coping strategies such as early age marriage.

    1. However, the current crisis in Afghanistan puts progress in disaster risk reduction at severe risk. We cannot treat the prevention of disasters and the alleviation of humanitarian crisis separately, if we are to avoid furthering the vulnerabilities of those already most at risk, women, girls, and displaced persons, facing movement restrictions and increased risk of gender-based violence.

    1. We need to fully integrate disaster risk reduction into the ongoing humanitarian response to prevent further deterioration of the livelihoods of the Afghan people. We must also remember that nothing erodes development gains like disasters. Therefor it is crucial to prevent new risk and mitigate existing climate and disaster risks in order to contribute to building resilience of Afghanistan.
    1. UNDRR stands ready to continue working with humanitarian partners in Afghanistan to enhance risk analysis, including on transboundary multiyear hazards such as droughts, and to ensure that humanitarian action will enhance the resilience of Afghan communities. 

    1. In preparation for the possible exodus of people from Afghanistan, UNDRR is in discussion with partners operating to strengthen and scale up support for countries in Central Asia, in particular those that border Afghanistan. This support would be mainly channeled through our initiative entitled "Central Asia Initiative for Climate and Disaster Resilience," funded by the European Union.

    1. We are committed to working with Member States, our sister agencies within the UN system and NGOs in solidarity with the Afghan people.

    1. Thank you very much.
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