UNDRR ROAS at Crisis and Emergency Management Summit
Abu Dhabi, 9-10 May 2023, The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Regional Office for Arab States participated in the Crisis and Emergency Management Summit, which discussed emergency, crisis, and disaster management mechanisms and highlighted the future of the sector during the time of increasing threats and risks around the world, as well as current vital issues. UNDRR ROAS delivered a keynote speech and participated in ‘Preparing the Community for Emergencies’ session.
The realm of emergency, crisis, and disaster management is a crucial and all-encompassing field that covers a wide range of interconnected sectors within the emergency, crisis, and disaster systems. The summit gathered numerous specialists and experts from diverse backgrounds, including government agencies, international organizations, government representatives, and ambassadors, as well as experts and military personnel, all of whom are involved in a variety of fields.
In the keynote speech, UNDRR emphasized the significance of collaboration between governments, partners, and communities in reducing disaster risk and minimizing losses to ensure a safer and sustainable future. UNDRR highlighted the critical role of accessible and comprehensive multi-hazard early warning systems in saving lives. On average, countries without such systems face fatality rates eight times higher than those that have implemented them.
“Quite simply, early warning and early action saves lives. When disaster strike, fatality rates in countries without such systems are eight times higher than in countries that have put them in place,” said Loretta Hieber Girardet, Chief of Risk Knowledge, Monitoring, and Capacity-Development Branch at UNDRR. “But as of 2022, only half of the countries globally and only one-third of Small Island Developing States have a multi-hazard early warning system. And six out of ten Africans are not protected by early warning. This is unacceptable,” she noted in her keynote remarks.
During the 'Preparing the Community for Emergencies' session, UNDRR emphasized the significance of a whole-of-society approach in building resilience and highlighted the need for active community engagement to achieve success Improving community understanding of disaster risks must be customized to the specific needs and contexts of each community. UNDRR collaborates closely with local partners and community members to ensure that campaigns and initiatives are tailored to meet the particular needs and priorities of each community.
Community participation and ownership are essential components of effective disaster risk reduction initiatives. When communities are actively involved in identifying and addressing the risks they face, they are better equipped to develop strategies that are tailored to their specific needs and priorities, and that is more likely to be sustainable in the long term.
The summit called for well-planned operations to respond to emergencies, the need for enhanced cooperation among all parties involved in the emergency and crisis management system, especially civil society, the prioritization of education and training as it is a basis for improving the performance of emergency and crisis institutions, and the development of efficient international standards for emergency and crisis management. It provided a platform for collaboration and learning to discuss innovative approaches to managing crises and emergencies and building more resilient communities.