African ministers meet to adopt the extended Programme of Action to reduce disaster risk
The Second Africa Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will take place in parallel to the First Ministerial Conference of Ministers Responsible for Meteorology in Africa, organized from 12 to 16 April 2010 by the World Meteorological Organization, the Government of Kenya, and the African Union Commission.
Africa, along with Asia, is the most vulnerable continent to disasters and is likely to be more affected by climate related hazards in the future.
According to the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), more than 1,800 disasters killed more than 700,000 people in Africa over the past thirty years, affecting more than three hundred million others minimum.
Organised by the African Union Commission, the Government of Kenya, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and in collaboration with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) of the World Bank, the three-day event will be officially opened by the Right Honourable Raila Odinga, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, in the presence of Margareta Wahlström, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and H.E. Ms. Tumusiime Rhoda-Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission. Delegates representing regional economic communities, institutions, donors, academia, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations will be also present.
“As the 2009 Global Assessment Report on disaster risk reduction indicates, people’s exposure to disasters is growing at a faster rate than risk reducing capacities are being strengthened,” says Margareta Wahlström. “Regional mechanisms such as the African Regional Strategy and the Programme of Action are the best tools to address these new challenges and avoid disasters in the future.”
The event, which will include a Technical Expert Segment, a series of parallel events and a Ministerial Conference, will discuss and adopt an updated version of the Programme of Action for the Implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and concrete measures for the period 2006-2015, specific strategic areas of interventions, deliverables, expected results and measurable indicators to monitor progress.
The event also gives an opportunity to evaluate progress made in the implementation of the Africa Regional Strategy for Action on DRR and identify gaps, challenges and opportunities in line with the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005 – 2015): Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.
Ministers are expected to define mechanisms and identify resources and that will help with the implementation of the African Strategy and Programme of Action, prioritizing investments that will contribute to make schools, hospitals and cities safer against disasters.
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