UNISDR in the UN System

UNISDR in the UN System

UNISDR led a process with 29 UN organizations to develop the UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience, which the Chief Executive Board of the United Nations adopted in March 2013.

The UN Plan of Action hinges on UNISDR’s role as the focal point for disaster risk reduction in the UN system, and for coordinating and integrating disaster risk reduction into UN country-level programmes and activities.

The UN Plan of Action identifies a series of measures to strengthen support for countries and communities in managing disaster risk. It requires, for example, assessments of the extent to which disaster and climate risk is being addressed in the UN country development frameworks (known as UNDAFs). UN Resident Coordinators have also been made more accountable for country-level implementation of the UN Plan of Action.

There has been rapid progress as a result of mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in the UN system. By the end of 2013, 12 UN organizations had prioritized disaster risk reduction within their 2014-2017 strategic work plans and included disaster risk reduction in their respective Results-Based Monitoring Frameworks. This represented a 70% increase over the previous work planning cycle.

Supported by UNISDR, Cameroon, Ecuador, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, Jordan, Moldova, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo and Venezuela are among the countries which approved new UNDAFs that reflect disaster risk in development planning. A regional UNDAF with key disaster risk reduction elements was developed in the Pacific, while strong cooperation with UNDP and UN Resident Coordinators enabled UNISDR to strengthen disaster risk reduction implementation in Djibouti, Lebanon, Mauritania and Serbia. In Africa, UNISDR supported the UN Interagency Group in building disaster risk reduction into inter-agency activities.

Disaster Risk Reduction in the United Nations

The UN has committed to address disaster and climate risk throughout all of its development and humanitarian work.

The UN system has committed to:

The contributions that drive the UN system’s support to countries and communities to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 are found in the UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience. The UN Plan of Action was approved by the UN Secretary-General and its Executive Heads through the UN’s Chief Executives Board for Coordination in April 2013. The UN’s commitment was reiterated at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction at Sendai in March 2015. The UN Plan of Action is being revised to further align with the post-2015 development agenda.

UN Role and Scale of Operations

The UN is one of the world’s largest multilateral development partners, channelling 17% of total official development assistance.

The UN is leading efforts to integrate disaster risk reduction into key sectors such as agriculture, health, tourism and water.

The UN contributes to:

Twenty-nine (29) specialized organizations in the UN system contribute with their respective expertise, networks and resources to the reduction of disaster risk and collaborate to deliver as one at the global, regional and country level.

Thirteen (13) UN organizations - FAO, UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UNHABITAT, UNICEF, UNOPS, WFP, WMO, WHO, UNESCO, UNV and the World Bank - have prioritized disaster risk reduction in their 2014-2017 strategic work plans and included disaster risk reduction in their results-based monitoring frameworks. This represents a 70% increase in comparison with the previous work planning cycle.

A review carried out in 2013 found that 50 of 56 country development assistance frameworks (UNDAFs) published since 2009 prioritized disaster and climate risk reduction. In terms of trends, in 2014, 79% of published UNDAFs integrated disaster and climate risk.

Moving forward, over 80 countries will be determining the further focus and priorities of their development support to countries through the UNDAFs over the next three years.

Coherence and Coordinated Action

In 2014, more than 70% of countries with UN programmes implemented all or some pillars of the Delivering as One approach. This approach gives the UN a more holistic capacity to address complex issues such as disaster risk reduction at the country level.

UN Resident Coordinators ensure that disaster risk reduction is effectively incorporated in the country-level programing and regularly report on progress. In countries where a disaster risk reduction advisor was deployed to support the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, the UN provided more coherent and effective support to the national and local authorities.

The pooling of capacities within UN Country Teams and the strengthening of regional inter-agency cooperation on disaster risk reduction are proving to be effective, particularly when these efforts are framed by regional intergovernmental policies and institutions.

Resolutions and ReportsSupporting the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

The work of the UN Regional Commissions, Regional UN Development Groups supported by Regional Offices of UNISDR, is contributing to more effective and aligned assistance to countries.

UNISDR is strongly committed to UN coherence and its primary objective to achieve sustainable results in an effective and efficient way.

UNISDR is the focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and ensures synergy among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations system and regional organizations (UN General Assembly resolution 56/195).

The UN High-level Committee on Programmes promotes system-wide cooperation, coordination and knowledge sharing across UN system organizations. The UN High Level Committee on Programmes Senior Management Group on Disaster Risk Reduction supports the roll-out of the UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience, reviews progress against the UN Plan of Action and reviews effectiveness of the UN Plan of Action implementation and delivery.

Accountability and Reporting

UN organizations have increased their accountability by adopting a single set of indicators to measure progress as they accelerate and mainstream disaster risk reduction into their operations.

The indicators include minimum requirements for agencies to report on the extent to which disaster risk reduction is integrated in:
- Work plans;
- Strategic frameworks; and
- Governing body agendas and agencies own result based management systems.

The UN reports on its progress and impact of its work in countries in implementing disaster risk reduction in its annual Secretary-General Report to the UN General Assembly on the topic and against the UN's Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) which monitors the UN systems’ operational development work.

The various UN agencies and organizations committed to reducing disaster risks.

Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Panama City, Panama.
  • Where We Work Our regional office is in Brussels, Belgium.

Where We Work