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Africa gears up for the second disaster risk reduction ministerial conference

The African Union Commission, in collaboration with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), is preparing for the Second African Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. The conference will take place on 14 to 16 April 2010, at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, in parallel to the First Conference of Ministers responsible for Meteorology in Africa.
12 Apr 2010 News briefs

Global pledging initiative to make schools and hospitals safer launched today (8 April) in Manila

More than 300 participants from the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the civil society are launching today in Manila the 'One Million Safe Schools and Hospitals Initiative' to make hospitals and schools safer from disasters.

This global action is part of the new 2010-2011 World Disaster Reduction Campaign 'Making Cities resilient,' that will be launched in May, 2010, in Bonn, Germany.

The One Million Schools and Hospitals Initiative with the slogan “Make a Pledge, Save a Life” encourages an individual, a family, community, organization, government, or business entity to pledge to make a school or hospital safer from disasters in three ways: as an advocate, leader or champion.

“Making sure that schools, hospitals and other key public infrastructure meet certain safety standards are key steps to ensure that natural hazards do not turn into disasters,” said Margareta Walhstrom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction. “Individuals commitments are as important as mutual commitments” she added.

Official website of the online pledging initiative:

View media advisory >>>


7 Apr 2010 News briefs

Regional training on HFA monitoring

In accordance with the recommendations of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters (HFA), in past years, the UNISDR secretariat has facilitated biennial reviews to monitor progress on implementation of the HFA at the national, regional and international levels. To facilitate countries' reporting on HFA progress, UNISDR has developed an online monitoring and reporting tool "HFA Monitor" which was used by 102 countries in the 1st reporting cycle covering 2007-2009. The 2nd cycle of reporting on HFA progress (for 2009-2011) will start in March 2010 with the objective of receiving completed progress reports from governments by September 2010. This self-assessment will provide valuable information on progress in the key areas of disaster risk reduction.
24 Mar 2010 News briefs

Rebuilding for resilience: How science and engineering can inform Haiti’s reconstruction

Internationally renowned scientists and engineers will converge on the University of Miami campus March 22-23 for a workshop dedicated to rebuilding the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in ways that make it less vulnerable to damage from future earthquakes and other hazards. View full story ->
22 Mar 2010 News briefs

Help shape the 2010-2011 world disaster reduction campaign

Know more – Invest wisely – Build more safely! Cities and local governments need to get ready and become resilient to disasters. For the next two years and beyond, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) will campaign together with its partners for this to happen. Get involved, reduce risk, get your city ready!

> Find out more about the 'Making Cities Resilient' Campaign

11 Mar 2010 News briefs

Africa Environment Day

The government of the United Republic of Tanzania hosted the 2010 Africa Environment Day celebrations in Arusha. The day, themed ‘Africa Resilience to Climate Change: Protecting Biodiversity and Enhancing Traditional Knowledge’, was commemorated on 3 and 4 March 2010.
11 Mar 2010 News briefs

Regional Training on Disaster Inventories: Towards developing capaities for risk reduction in the Arab region

3 Mar 2010 News briefs

Disaster risk reduction training held in South Africa

The African Centre for Disaster Studies, supported by UNISDR, held a short course on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation from 15 to 19 February at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus in South Africa.
22 Feb 2010 News briefs

ECOWAS risk assessment training

ECOWAS and UNISDR regional office for Africa, with the support of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), organized a three-day training workshop on mitigating disaster risk to improve the resilience of West African states against disasters. The training enabled government officials and disaster risk  reduction practitioners to understand the role of hazard assessment, risk analysis and vulnerability mapping in reducing the impact of natural hazards as well as how ISDR partners can support their efforts at national and sub-regional levels in West Africa.


16 Feb 2010 News briefs

Ten percent of relief aid should be allocated to building safer houses, hospitals and schools

As relief continues to be the main priority for thousands of Haitians who have been affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Port-au-Prince, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and its partners are working together to ensure that disaster risk reduction principles are fully integrated into the different phases of the Haitian reconstruction process.

View full story ->

12 Feb 2010 News briefs

External Evaluation of the UNISDR and Management Response

UNISDR is pleased to share its Management Response to the second external evaluation of the secretariat. The Management Response sets out the process and main activities to implement recommendations arising from the evaluation carried out by Dalberg Global Development Advisers. Initiated by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and major UNISDR donors, the evaluation’s purpose was to assess the secretariat’s performance over the last four years and to provide guidance for UNISDR's future direction. The independent report presents 42 recommendations based on 25 findings, which are summarized in five key messages included in the executive summary.

> View executive summary

> View full report

> View management response

11 Feb 2010 News briefs

Flash floods in Red Sea coast of Egypt forecasted by early warning system

2 Feb 2010 News briefs

UN Development Group to seize the opportunity to build back better in Haiti

At the Montreal Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti held on 25 January, Helen Clark, the Administrator of UNDP and Chair of the UN Development Group, called for the integration of disaster prevention concerns and capacity into the recovery and reconstruction process. UNISDR is actively collaborating with UNDP and all other ISDR system partners to ensure that risk reduction is made an integral component of the international recovery and reconstruction efforts.

> View full statement by Helen Clark

28 Jan 2010 News briefs

African Union and League of Arab States Commit to Strengthen Cooperation on Climate Change

Climate change was among the items discussed during the fifth Annual Inter-Secretariat Meeting on General Cooperation between the African Union (AU) and the League of Arab States, which met at the headquarters of the League of Arab States in Cairo, Egypt, on 16 January 2010

28 Jan 2010 News briefs

Earthquakes caused the deadliest disasters in the past decade

In the past decade, nearly 60 per cent of the people killed by disasters died because of earthquakes, the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) revealed today in a joint press conference with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).
28 Jan 2010 Press release

Earthquakes caused the deadliest disasters in the past decade

28 Jan 2010 News briefs

UNISDR calls for long-term measures to rebuild a safer Haiti

It has now been more than a week since two catastrophic earthquakes struck Haiti, leaving much of the Capital city Port-au-Prince and surroundings totally devastated. Haiti had no chance and could not have been prepared for a disaster of this magnitude.
22 Jan 2010 Press release

Five years after the Indian Ocean Tsunami – are we better prepared and more resilient to disasters?

Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction says there is better news to report. “The affected countries and communities have largely recovered, and warning systems are now in place, not just for tsunamis, which are relatively rare, but also linked to those for tropical cyclones, storms, and floods.”

> View full story

24 Dec 2009 News briefs

BBC World News to broadcast ‘Tsunami Revisited’

‘Tsunami Revisited’ is a documentary on the EC funded project 'Building Resilience to Tsunamis in the Indian Ocean Region in response to the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004. UNISDR was appointed to manage the project by coordinating, supervising and monitoring the actions of a number of partner organisations in four target countries: India, Indonesia, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will air the programme at the following times:

BBC World News broadcast
- Sat 26/12/09 00:30 / 03:30 / 09:30 / 22:30 GMT
- Sun 27/12/09 12:30 GMT

23 Dec 2009 News briefs

Checklist for the Resilient Cities Campaign

UNISDR Regional Office for Arab States are seeking good examples on urban risk reduction activities in the Arab region for the Global Biennial Campaign 2010 - 2011 "Resilient Cities". Globally, the aim is to have as many cities commited to meet the criteria for more resilient cities. This checklist builds on the priorities adopted in the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015.

14 Dec 2009 News briefs

55 million people affected by extreme weather disasters in 2009

Copenhagen – Over three quarters of the people killed - and  95 % of the total affected by natural hazards - since the beginning of the year were due to extreme weather events said Ms. Margareta Wahlström, the United Nations Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, based on the preliminary 2009 disaster figures.
14 Dec 2009 Press release

2009 Stockholm Policy Forum on Climate-Smart Disaster Risk Reduction - outcome documents now available

A Policy Forum on Climate Smart Disaster Risk Reduction was held in Stockholm, Sweden on October 26, 2009. Co-organized by the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and UNISDR, the event gathered approximately 100 country representatives, practitioners and experts from both the disaster risk management and climate change communities to identify promising practices and critical actions for implementation of adaptation efforts.

The outcome documents of the event are now available for download:

Stockholm Policy Forum Summary

Stockholm Policy Forum Joint Communiqué

11 Dec 2009 News briefs

New National Platform in Europe – Republic of Croatia

8 Dec 2009 News briefs

UNISDR in support of Yann Arthus-Bertrand's "6 Billion Others - Climate Voices"

"6 billion Others - Climate Voices", which will be launched in Copenhagen during the climate change negotiations, presents the collective voice of people whose lives have already been devastated by climate change impacts and those who are forced to live with these impacts. The film serves as an insightful and persuasive wake-up call from the global scientific community.

4 Dec 2009 News briefs

Creating Linkages for a Safer Tomorrow - Proceedings of the second session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction released

This report captures the discussions and recommendations of the second session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Geneva, 16-19 June 2009. It provides a summary of the multi-stakeholder deliberations on progress in implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action and identification of priorities for the ISDR system for 2010-11 and beyond. Available on-line in English, a hard copy of the document will be disseminated in late January 2010. On-line versions of the document in all UN official languages will be made available as soon as possible.

View full story

4 Dec 2009 News briefs

International Roundtable of Parliamentarians adopts ‘Malta Declaration of the Commitment of Parliamentarians to COP15 and Beyond’


The International Roundtable of Parliamentarians on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, organized by UNISDR in partnership with the Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, adopted a common declaration in Malta on 24 November 2009. Recognizing disaster risk reduction as a first line of defence in adapting to climate change, the parliamentarians urge for political commitment through action at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.


View full story

2 Dec 2009 News briefs

Meeting Of European National Platforms and HFA Focal Points, 11–13 November 2009, London (UK)

1 Dec 2009 News briefs

Meeting of UNISDR Director, Dr Sálvano Briceño, with President of the FYR of Macedonia, Dr Gjorge Ivanov, Skopje, 3-4 November 2009

1 Dec 2009 News briefs

Regional workshop on disaster risk reduction and climate change

The Regional Office for Arab States of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction secretariat (UNISDR), The World Bank, The League of Arab States and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport of the League of Arab States, are co-organizing a Regional Workshop on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: "Challenges and Future Actions", which will take place in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt from 21-23 November 2009.

21 Nov 2009 News briefs

UNISDR secretariat has launched its new Biennial Work Programme for 2010-2011 "Invest today for a safer tomorrow


The UNISDR secretariat Biennial Work Programme was developed following the second session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in June 2009. It is based on the role and mandate of UNISDR as set by the UN General Assembly. The strategic direction for the 2010-2011 biennium is derived from the outcomes of the Global Platform and from regional consultations. The current programme has been further shaped through broad consultation with the ISDR Support Group in Geneva, donors, the ISDR Inter-Agency Group and other partners.

View full story


Related links

UNISDR secretariat Biennial Work Programme: 2010-2011

20 Nov 2009 News briefs
The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction took place in 2015 The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction took place in 2015.
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