Geneva, 13 May – For the first time, Munich Re Foundation, the Global Risk Forum GRF Davos and United Nations secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) join forces and offer €100,000 to a risk reduction project that will contribute to increasing people’s resilience to disasters, especially in developing communities which are most at risk.
The new award was announced by the award partners at the Third Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk reduction that is closing today in Geneva.
Particularly concerned by the accumulation of risks resulting from increased exposure of people and assets to hazards, rapid urbanization, environmental degradation and climate change, the awards partners will give priority to projects that focus on improving infrastructure and technical systems at grassroots level that are at immediate risks when disaster happen.
Disaster costs due to infrastructure damage are increasing in an exponential way that is alarming and will affect more communities in the future, reveals the second Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction released last Monday in Geneva.
"There is an urgent need to finance small projects that will make thousands of people more resilient at the local level. The prize is a very good initiative that will encourage more disaster risk reduction projects to support prevention, intervention and fast recovery from disasters at the community level. It is crucial, as discussed during the Third Session of the Global Platform that we better prepare communities to reduce risks as they are always at the frontline when disasters hit," says Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Disaster Reduction.
The prize will be awarded every two years and will accept proposals that are new, under development or upgrades of existing systems or services associated with risk management, early warning or water management to better equip communities to respond to natural hazards. Any individual, teams or institutions from different sectors, including governmental bodies, can submit their proposal for the Risk Award.
"At the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction we learnt that top-down as well as bottom-up programmes and policies are essential and mutually reinforcing. With the Risk Award, we want to fund practices that can really make a difference at local level and help reduce risk so people and their assets can be better protected" says Thomas Loster from the Munich Re Foundation.
The Risk Award prize will be handed over at the International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC), starting with the first award ceremony at the IDRC Davos 2012, on 26 August 2012.
"The Risk Award fits exactly into GRF’s strategy to promote integrative risk management solutions at a community and city level," says Walter Ammann, GRF Davos. "We are very pleased to provide the right forum to honour the Risk Award laureate."
The first 2012 award will focus on early warning in urban areas to emphasize the importance of the UNISDR campaign "Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready!"
The private sector, which was for the first time an active partner in the Third session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, issued an official call to action last Tuesday to implement five essentials for business in disaster risk reduction.
To know more about the statement please read: http://unisdr.org/archive/19873.
To apply to the Risk Award please download the proposal form at www.risk_award.org and send the complete form by 31 December 2011 to [email protected]