Rapid urban growth presents a variety of challenges to local officials. Local officials often lack clarity in key areas related to disaster risk management, due to the volume of complex and inter-dependent systems in a city. As the closest level of government to communities, local governments are responsible for the delivery of basic services. However, they often lack the necessary tools, knowledge and policies towards increasing resilience as well as ensuring that these services are protected from hazards. In addition, small-scale disasters at the local level constitute a huge percentage of losses in many countries that is not always accounted for at national level. Disaster risks are also intensifying due to the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, as a result of climate change.
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk (UNISDR), with support from the European Commission is engaging 20 cities worldwide in an initiative entitled “Making cities sustainable and resilient: Implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 at the local level” to address these challenges. The initiative builds on the achievements of the participating cities in building resilience, and paves the way toward the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 .
To kickoff the initiative in Arab states, UNISDR is organizing the regional kick-off workshop titled ‘Making Cities Sustainable and Resilient: Implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015- 2030 at the Local level’. The workshop will be organised on 19-20 February 2017 in Beirut, Lebanon.
The workshop will bring together the four cities in Arab region selected as part of this initiative. These include Khartoum (Sudan), Ismaliya (Egypt), Nablus (Palestine), and Nouakchott (Mauritania). The workshop aims to build a shared understanding of the process, expectations, results and outcomes of the project. In addition, it will also identify progress and challenges to disaster risk reduction in the cities.