The international day
 12 October 2005
 The Secretary-General
 Press kit
 Conclusion from expert
 Media events
 Case studies
 Other points of view
Salvano Briceño, director of the UN/ISDR secretariat
“Investing in disaster risk reduction reduces the vulnerability of people to hazards and helps break the vicious cycle of poverty. We need to engage the micro finance community into a dialogue on reducing the impact of natural hazards on populations and livelihoods "

"Micro finance is a successful tool to empower women to help reduce their poverty and therefore, their vulnerability to disasters.”

Case studies
Kenyan droughts:
a community based approach with Microcredits.

Jaime Duran, Senior Grant Manager, Africa Department, International Federation of Red Cross.

Kenya suffers from regular extreme weather events which exacerbate rural poverty, with devastating impact on pastoralists and subsistence farmers in the arid and semi arid regions of the country. In the last decade alone, drought periods in 91/92, 95/96, and 98/2000, and devastating floods in 1997/98 and again in 2002 in different parts of the country have been recorded. These phenomena have had the cumulative effect of reducing household food availability, purchasing power, and coping capacity, impoverishing the rural population.

Microfinance and disaster preparedness: an innovative approach
for housing preventive reinforcement against cyclone and flood damages, Viet Nam
  Over the past decade, Viet Nam has been emerging from years of poverty. Economic reforms have had a largely positive effect on many families, whilst many activities are increasingly moneterised. This growth and change is vital if families and the community are to achieve more stable and better living conditions. In turn, the improvement of family economies is vital for local and regional development. But the often-tenuous improvement in family and commune conditions is frequently eradicated by the destruction caused by the annual round of storms, typhoons and flooding.
Microfinance for Disaster Risk Management in Bangladesh
By Krishna S. Vatsa
  Microfinance programs are discussed frequently in the context of income generation, productive investment and poverty alleviation. It has become a very important institutional channel of providing financial services to the poor, who lack access to traditional financial institutions. Beginning with non-collateral credit, the ambit of microfinance programs has expanded to include savings and insurance as well. Many of these programs use social mechnanisms, such as group-based lending, to reach the poor and other groups, especially women.

While the jury is still divided on the impact of microfinance on poverty alleviation, its role in risk management and vulnerability reduction has been acknowledged more conclusively. Zeller (2001) identifies two principal pathways through which access to financial services can help the poor to manage their risks and smooth their income and consumption. Pathway 1 leads to income smoothing through ex ante measures. It involves the provision of credit and savings services through which households can raise finance to enhance the level of the household’s productive capital and smooth income. Pathway 2 leads to consumption smoothing through provision of consumption credit, withdrawal of savings, and insurance claims. Consumption smoothing has been shown to be the main objective of household participation in microfinance program in a survey of 1800 beneficiaries conducted in Bangladesh (Pitt and Khandker, 1998; Morduch, 1999).

A Road Towards Building Disaster Resilient Communities
  “We need to organize a cooperative to help us collectively address our needs when crisis occur” said Petronilo Baes, an elder in Talumpok East, a rural village in Batangas City, south of Manila, Philippines. His sentiment was shared by many other farmers in the village. This was the beginning of the Talumpok Silangan Multipurpose Cooperative (TASIMPCO), which was organized on May 1, 1988. An initial meeting of fifty village residents, chaired by a development worker , led to a decision to organize themselves into a cooperative. They pledged in writing to pay a share of Php100 and a membership fee of Php20, or Php 120.00 per person ($2.10). A total of Php5,000 ($92.5) was collected in a matter of days and this amount was used to buy consumer goods. Then, they registered the cooperative to the Security and Exchange Commission to legitimize its existence.
The Experience of SEWA
  This paper explores the Self Employed Women’s Association’s (SEWA) experience using microfinance and safety nets to increase disaster resilience among the rural poor of Gujarat, India. Many existing financial tools and safety nets play an important role in reducing the vulnerability of hazard-prone populations, particularly the poorest of the poor. Microfinance can effectively be used to enhance disaster risk management by reducing vulnerability and increasing coping mechanisms. Micro-credit, micro-insurance, savings and other safety nets can contribute to disaster risk reduction and build on or expand traditional disaster and risk coping strategies.