Most of the planet changed its view this year about the meaning of disaster. Not only because of the health crisis posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but because as the emergency unfolded, other risks had to be addressed and managed as well. COVID-19 has become a very clear example of what is meant by systemic risk, and an illustration of the cascading impacts of both the disaster event and the responses adopted by States.
In the face of the cascading effects future risks might represent, good governance, this year’s theme of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (October 13th), appears as a key to a door that holds a more prosperous, resilient and secure future. Many disasters can be avoided or prevented if there are disaster risk reduction strategies in place to manage and reduce existing levels of risk and to avoid the creation of new risk.