Q&A - Regional Assessment Report on disaster risk reduction in the Arab region (RAR-Arab States)

Q&A - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

What is RAR?
Who can use RAR?

How RAR was developed?

How is the RAR-Arab States divided and what topics does it address?

Did RAR-Arab States encounter data gaps in the Arab region?
How is RAR-Arab States informed?
How does the RAR-Arab States approach the COVID-19 pandemic?
How does the RAR-Arab States approach climate change? 
What are the systemic risks affecting the Arab region identified by RAR-Arab States?

 

What is RAR?

The Regional Assessment Report (RAR) is an attempt to provide an understanding of the regional risks and progress in risk reduction in the Arab region, while highlighting the key issues and challenges. It is the first punctuation mark in the implementation of the Sendai Framework in the Arab region. RAR-Arab States is influenced by the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2019, and offers an update on progress made in implementing the Sendai Framework’s outcome, goal, targets and priorities, while identifying entry points for improving coherence with climate change adaptation and sustainable development. It also provides an analysis of region-specific systemic risk drivers, including a contextualized discussion on vulnerability, rapid urbanisation, conflict and food security.


Who can use RAR?

RAR is a ‘go-to-guide’ for governments, policy experts, DRR practitioners and all stakeholders in the Arab region. It provides guidance and recommendations that may be used by all stakeholders with an important role in developing, implementing and monitoring DRR strategies, policies and programs. RAR-Arab States can be also used by local and national governments, private sector and planners, academia, UN agencies and donors, NGOs, CSOs, women, youth, old, People with Disability (PwD), Internally Displaced People (IDP) and refugee organisations working on sustainable development, climate change adaptation, inclusive urbanism, and conflict mitigation.

 

How RAR was developed?

This Regional Assessment Report (RAR-Arab States) was developed through an extensive set of partnerships with international organizations, governments, and academic and research institutions. The RAR aims to become both an ongoing process of evidence generation and policy engagement, and a product – in the form of a report series published by the UNDRR ROAS. The process contributes directly to greater access to risk information for decision-making, and identifies feasible practices that can be employed at the local, national, and regional levels.
The collaborative methodology was affected through the RAR Editorial Committee (RAR-EC) comprising lead authors, co-authors and editors based on expressed interest and commitment of individuals. The RAR-EC was comprised of representatives from UN regional offices of FAO, IOM, ITU, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNESCWA, UN-Habitat, UNWOMEN, WHO and WFP. The following regional organisations were also represented on the EC Committee ARAB-STAG, RAED, Arab Major Children and Youth Group for DRR and AWC. The RAR-EC, chaired by UNDRR Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS), was responsible for conceptualizing the RAR’s scope and content and contributing to its drafting, finalization, launch and wider dissemination as per agreed upon action plan and timeframe. RAR-EC also provided technical advice and edits and reviewed the narrative of chapters and sections. The final report was also subject to an internal UNDRR review and an external peer review process.

 

How is the RAR-Arab States divided and what topics does it address? 

The first edition of the Regional Assessment Report (RAR-Arab States) comprises 8 chapters covering the following topics: complex, cascading and emerging systemic risks; progress and challenges in effecting shift from disaster management to disaster risk management; impetus for regional coherence between disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts; the differentiated vulnerabilities and capacities in climate change mitigation and adaptation and disaster risk reduction; urban resilience and urban infrastructure; DRR in fragile and conflict settings; building food security in the age of water scarcity; and a contextualized enabling environment in the Arab region.

 

Did RAR-Arab States encounter data gaps in the Arab region?

There is a lack of readily available disaggregated data in national and regional statistical databases, damage and loss databases, research by governments and/or international organizations in the Arab region, including on the specific concerns of priority groups of people, highlighted by the SFDRR. There is almost no data available on the intersection between disaster and conflict, in relation to displacement figures, despite the fact that disaster displacements often unfold in locations where displacement from conflict is already occurring. To date, there is also no regional data that explores the relationship between slow-onset natural hazards and displacement. National Statistical Organisations are not sufficiently engaged in data collation and sharing for DRM and DRR frameworks. The urban risk profile across cities in the region is incomplete due to limited data, which may lead to an underestimation of urban risk.

 

How is RAR-Arab States informed?

The RAR-Arab States is informed by the latest data, including the Sendai Framework target reporting by Arab countries using the SFM. While the observed period is still too short to draw definitive conclusions at the regional level, it is possible to identify patterns in terms of participation in the monitoring process, more challenging targets for reporting, and relative successes in reducing risks. In reviewing progress, SFM, DesInventar and EM-DAT resources are used – as only ten countries have provided national disaster loss data, albeit intermittently.

 

How does the RAR-Arab States approach the COVID-19 pandemic? 

The RAR-Arab States highlights the need to ensure that COVID-19 recovery plans, including measures for reducing the factors contributing to social vulnerability, account for DRR considerations and address biological and health hazards as part of wider systemic risks. By updating existing and developing new national and local DRR strategies to incorporate systemic risks, and integrating DRR in national planning and financing processes, Arab countries can bridge the short-term (2020), medium-term (2021-2022) and the long-term (2023 – 2030) recovery measures (based on BBB) against a background of shrinking public resources due to COVID-19.

 

How does the RAR-Arab States approach climate change? 

The RAR-Arab States addresses the structural drivers of vulnerability to climate change and disaster risks for the priority groups that are highlighted in the SFDRR, and the Paris Agreement, i.e., women, children, youth, persons with disability, older persons, indigenous persons and migrants.

 

What are the systemic risks affecting the Arab region identified by RAR-Arab States?

The RAR-Arab States identifies seven systemic risks affecting the Arab region, namely: rural/agricultural risk with rising food insecurity, systemic risk in a rapidly urbanizing region, over dependency on natural resource extraction and non-sustainable consumption and production patterns, COVID-19 pandemic, Cyber Risk in Cities with advanced infrastructure systems, emerging nuclear energy risks, and the climate change-disasters-conflict-migration nexus.

 

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