UNDP to double its support for disaster reduction

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and and former Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and and former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

GENEVA, 15 August 2012 - UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, said today the agency intends to double its overall support for disaster reduction over the next five years and will add five countries per year to the "growing list of countries on track to becoming champions in disaster resilience."

In a major policy speech which follows the launch by UNISDR of consultations on a replacement for the Hyogo Framework for Action, the international agreement on disaster risk reduction which expires in 2015, Ms. Clark said the post-Hyogo discussions need to link to other processes.

"2015 is the date for achieving most of the Millennium Development Goal targets which have guided international development since 2000. Disaster risk reduction needs to become central to mainstream development planning and action, and be reflected in discussions of the overall post-2015 development agenda," she said.

Her speech was welcomed today by UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlström, who said: "UNDP and other UN agencies have an important role to play in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into their day-to-day development work and that experience is very important to the debate now underway among member States on a new international instrument for disaster risk reduction. It will be a major feature of next year's Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction."

Delivering the University of Canterbury Hopkins Lecture in New Zealand, Ms. Clark said that UNDP intends to "consolidate its own lessons learned from the implementation of the current framework to help guide the direction of post-Hyogo arrangements."

She identified the voluntary non-binding nature of the Hyogo Framework as a key strength and stated "there is value in continuing a similarly structured voluntary arrangement after 2015."

Ms. Clark also suggested that any new framework "could specify measurable outcomes, rather than just processes."

She said: "In view of mounting disaster losses, investment in disaster risk reduction needs to be scaled-up exponentially. The negotiations around the post-Hyogo Framework will be an opportunity to explore financing mechanisms for disaster reduction, particularly at the local level."

Echoing the intent of UNISDR's "Making Cities Resilient" Campaign, she said the new framework should have a focus on urban planning and building safer cities given that the majority of people now live in urban settings.

"Post-Hyogo Framework negotiations will be an opportunity to place greater emphasis on recovery, and work towards developing robust policy and institutional and legislative arrangements which are human-rights based and support inclusive and sustainable post-disaster recovery."

UNISDR recently published that 133 member States participated in the last round of reporting on implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. There are also 81 national platforms for disaster risk reduction and 43 national disaster loss databases.

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