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UN Sasakawa Award short-list announced

The Philippines and Sweden have two projects each short-listed for the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction which will be presented in Geneva on May 22 during the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. Projects from Bangladesh and Brazil have also been short-listed by the judging panel which reviewed 28 projects from 20 countries.
6 May 2013 Press release

Mayor Al's resilience road trip in Central America

A senior official from the Philippines town of San Francisco, which won the 2011 Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, has spent the last five days journeying across Central America to exchange information with local authorities on best practice to make urban settings safer from natural hazards.
7 May 2013 News briefs

Launch of European Regional HFA Implementation Report

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) challenges are becoming greater every year. It is well known and understood by all disciplines in disaster prevention that previously unidentified threats are emerging, changes in technology are rendering formerly state-of-the-art systems obsolete or less effective, and migration patterns are causing population shifts to increasingly hazard-prone areas. However, despite the goal posts moving constantly, consistent progress is being made in efforts to reduce damage and losses inflicted by disasters on people, their communities and livelihoods. This is one of the findings of the European Regional HFA Implementation Report, launched today during the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR) at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland.
20 May 2013 Press release

Tangible Earth opens new window on risk

The inventor of the world's first interactive digital globe that graphically depicts the vulnerability of our planet to disasters today challenged global policymakers to show more leadership in tackling the growing risks facing populations worldwide.
22 May 2013 News briefs

Government ministers call for support to disaster-proof schools and hospitals at Global Platform

Representatives from 35 governments who met with business executives and senior experts at the 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, have issued a call "to develop nationally agreed standards for hazard risk assessments especially of critical infrastructure (including schools, health centers, electricity and water supply systems, nodal ITC centres, road and transport systems) by 2015."
22 May 2013 Press release

The resilient future young people want

Young people from around the world yesterday said much more needed to be done to implement the two-year old Children's Charter for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted at the last Global Platform in 2011 in order to create a safer and more resilient world.
23 May 2013 News briefs

Global Platform calls for immediate start on developing targets for risk reduction

The three-day 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, attended by a record 3,500 people and representatives from 172 governments, ended today with a call for "the immediate start of work to develop targets and indicators to monitor the reduction of risk" in the Chair's Summary at the closing plenary.
23 May 2013 Press release

UNISDR chief: integrated action will help billions and save trillions

The Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, today hailed the Pacific as it committed to a world first of integrating action in disaster risk management and climate change in one strategy to secure a sustainable future for this increasingly threatened region.
8 Jul 2013 Press release

School director pioneers safer learning for pupils

An innovative school director in northern Thailand has shown how his pupils can learn in safety with little additional financial cost and burden on staff. The Director of Baiboonlamphun School, Mr Pachernwaat Srichai, said school safety was becoming more of a priority with parents demanding secure environments for their children.
23 Jul 2013 News briefs

UN launches first-ever survey of people living with disabilities in disaster zones

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and partners today launched the first-ever survey of people living with disabilities on their coping capacity in the face of a disaster event. Margareta Wahlström, head of UNISDR, said today: “The survey will focus on a major blind spot in disaster management, the needs of the one billion or more people estimated to live with some form of disability. We can expect that as many as 30 million people living with a disability are affected during an average year by earthquakes and weather-related hazards.”
29 Jul 2013 Press release

People with disabilities ‘contributors to resilience, not victims’

Why are persons with disabilities so disproportionately affected by disasters? This was the important, if often overlooked, question presented to the largest international meeting on disability issues, at the United Nations last week. The answer, simply put, is because disaster prevention measures are designed and implemented in many parts of the world without including or taking into account persons with disabilities. Often it is the attitude of viewing such persons as victims or burdens that prevents their inclusion.
2 Aug 2013 News briefs

Lebanon embarks on regional first with disaster risk plan

GENEVA, 21 August 2013 - Lebanon is seeking to become the first country in the Arab region to adopt an overarching National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management that balances corrective, prospective and compensatory action. The building of political will and leadership, local collaboration, and regional and international partnerships is underpinning the effort despite significant ongoing challenges.
21 Aug 2013 News briefs

African universities reach out to local disaster managers

A leading academic has called on universities to engage more with vulnerable communities and to empower local disaster managers in their efforts to address various daunting challenges.
3 Oct 2013 News briefs

UN global survey explains why so many people living with disabilities die in disasters

The results of the first-ever UN global survey of persons living with disabilities on how they cope with disasters, illustrates why they die, or are injured, in disproportionate numbers in disasters. An estimated 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. Whether in multi-hazard prone United States of America or Bangladesh, earthquake-prone Italy or flood-prone Thailand, people living with disabilities across the world say they are rarely consulted about their needs and only 20% could evacuate immediately without difficulty in the event of a sudden disaster event, the remainder could only do so with a degree of difficulty and 6% would not be able to do so at all. If given sufficient time, the percentage of those who could evacuate with no difficulty rises from 20% to 38% but 58% feel they would still have either some, or a lot of, difficulty while 4% would still not be able to evacuate.
10 Oct 2013 Press release

Child safety tops South East Europe forum agenda

Budva, Montenegro – Children and their safety was top of the agenda at a regional cooperation forum focused on providing more secure environments for young people.
11 Oct 2013 News briefs

Drama tackles disability and disaster

The 2013 International Day for Disaster Reduction has seen remarkable efforts by artists and the creative community at large to rally for an inclusive and resilient world.
24 Oct 2013 News briefs

Millions back 'Disability is not Inability' message

One tweet on 13 October this year, "Disability is not inability! I am supporting this year's International Day for Disaster Reduction", was the simple message that galvanized over five million people all over the world on social media around the critical issue of persons living with disabilities and disasters.
28 Oct 2013 News briefs

Philippines launches safe schools campaign post-Haiyan

The Philippines today looked to the future and launched a new “Safe Schools” campaign with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) even as the country continues to deal with the many humanitarian needs left behind by Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda including the fact that thousands of children are unable to return to education because over 600 schools have been destroyed and 1.7 million children have lost their homes. Margareta Wahlström, the head of UNISDR, helped launch the initiative which will target 48,000 public schools, with the Under Secretary for the Department of Education, Dina Ocampo, Senator Loren Legarda and the UNDP Country Director, Tohishiro Tanaka. Under the slogan, “How Safe is Your School?” the programme is designed to raise public awareness and build social demand for safety checks, disaster preparedness, and school education on disaster risk reduction.
21 Nov 2013 Press release

Safe schools key to sustainable development

A new programme on school safety launched yesterday in the Philippines less than two weeks after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan urges pupils, teachers and communities to proactively assess the resilience and preparedness of their schools. The unveiling of the "How Safe Is Your School?” initiative in the Philippines is the first step of what the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) intends will be formalized as a global initiative at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in Japan, in March 2015.
21 Nov 2013 News briefs

DRR takes centre stage of typhoon recovery

Disaster risk reduction is emerging as central to the Philippines’ recovery and reconstruction plans in the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda. One of several leaders supporting increased investment in resilient structures is Mayor Ian Christopher Escario of Bantayan municipality, who oversaw a mass evacuation that limited the number of deaths to 15 people out of 90,000 in the face of the typhoon. “We were able to evacuate 30,000 people a couple of days before using sirens and radio messages. People were informed but nobody could foresee the violence of the storm surge,” Mayor Escario said. “Now we need to invest more in resilient infrastructures as all the roofs of the buildings have been blown away. Economic losses are huge and we are still assessing the damages and will take the necessary lessons of what happened.”
26 Nov 2013 News briefs

Bieber puts spotlight on disaster zone schools

Pop idol Justin Bieber paid a surprise visit to the San Jose Elementary School in Tacloban this week. He stayed about 30 minutes, hugged the kids, sang a few songs, signed some autographs and landed on the front pages of all the Philippine newspapers. If nothing else, his visit brought a spotlight to bear on the precarious lives of thousands of children with no school to go to for the last four weeks. Over 600 schools were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan. Despite a government instruction for classes to re-open on December 2, many, such as the Anibong Elementary School overlooking the ship-strewn shoreline of the neighbourhoods known as barangays 68 and 70, remain packed with evacuees.
13 Dec 2013 News briefs

Philippines Leads in UN Disaster-Safe Schools Initiative

The Philippines today publically committed to be a role model for safe schools and deliver a strong message to the 2015 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 on the importance of protecting school children and students in their education environment.
4 Mar 2014 Press release

Is Ethiopia the future of DRR?

From school to university education, from early warning to data collection, and from national development plans to community-based participation, Ethiopia has made solid gains in implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action, the global agreement on disaster risk reduction adopted in 2005.
15 May 2014 News briefs

Drop, Cover, Hold … Live

Not one child died at a school or kindergarten during the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011. It was one of the few bright spots from the major disaster that hit New Zealand’s principal city of its South Island.
3 Jun 2014 News briefs

Sandy inspires NJ university to teach DRR

Eighteen students at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States, have just completed the university’s first-ever course on disaster risk reduction, in part as a result of Hurricane Sandy which killed at least 117 people and caused $65 billion worth of damage in the US alone.
10 Jun 2014 News briefs

Kyrgyz Republic assesses over 3,000 schools

The major push for disaster-safe schools in the Kyrgyz Republic perfectly illustrates how good risk information can focus political will and help direct resources towards reducing underlying risk factors (in line with Priority 4 of the Hyogo Framework for Action, the global agreement on reducing disaster risk).
2 Jul 2014 News briefs

Quake tragedy drives advocate for safe schools

Zara Tonoyan is passionate about her work to make Armenian schoolchildren and their classrooms safer from disaster.
6 Aug 2014 News briefs

Lively debate on European floods

The recurrence of flooding, one of Europe’s most persistent natural hazards, presents both a challenge and an opportunity when it comes to disaster reduction, a conference heard on Wednesday.
9 Oct 2014 News briefs
The United Nations General Assembly requested UNISDR to facilitate the development of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction The United Nations General Assembly requested UNISDR to facilitate the development of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.
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