UN releases update on state of disaster risk management in the world

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

GENEVA, 23 May 2013 - Since the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, 146 countries have reported on their efforts to implement the sweeping reforms contained in the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) which was adopted by all UN member States in the wake of that catastrophe which took over 200,000 lives.

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today released the most detailed account yet of the implementation of the HFA as delegates from 173 governments meet on the final day of the 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction to debate the HFA and the contents of its successor which will be adopted at the 2015 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan.

The report finds that since 2005, 121 countries have enacted legislation to establish policy and legal frameworks for disaster risk reduction, 191 countries have established HFA focal points and 85 countries have set up national coordinating bodies for disaster risk reduction (National Platforms). (This latter number has risen to 86 with the recent inauguration of a new National Platform in India).

While noting that almost 90% of countries report the integration of disaster risk reduction in some form within public investment and planning decisions, the report also finds that a key challenge is finding the resources to ensure that frameworks and principles become operational.

UNISDR Director, Elizabeth Longworth, said today: "Since the HFA was introduced there has been a significant change in mindset. We are seeing lots more planning, legislation and new policies. There are 56 national disaster loss data bases and their numbers are growing all the time. Nearly every country in the world now has a HFA focal point.

"There is evidence that the HFA is making a difference, even if a lot more needs to be done to address the gap between policy and implementation and arrest the continuous rise in economic losses from disasters."

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