Europe presents very heterogeneous risk patterns consistent with a region of both highly developed countries in western Europe and more challenged regions, for example in parts of eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
Despite the wealth of expertise, knowledge and know-how in disaster risk reduction, statistics show that vulnerability to disasters in the Europe is increasing.
Europe is exposed to a variety of natural hazards, including storms, drought, floods, earthquakes and landslides. In terms of drought, mortality risk is not significant anywhere in the region. In contrast, in terms of economic loss, large parts of Southern Europe appear as a hotspot in both absolute and relative terms.
In the case of floods, while part of Eastern Europe shows significant mortality risk, however, large parts of northern, central and South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus are considered a hotspot in terms of economic loss. Similarly, in the case of both earthquakes and landslides, parts of Europe are a hotspot for both mortality and economic loss risk.
In view of the above and as a direct follow-up to the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (January 2005, Kobe, Japan) and at the request of the 168 UN Member States grouped together on the occasion, the UNISDR has established a regional presence to cover Europe.
The core mandate of the UNISDR Europe includes awareness-raising activities in disaster risk reduction, advocacy through policy formulation, the dissemination of guidelines to assist in the implementation of the Sendai Framework, promote the establishment of national platforms for disaster risk reduction, enhance networking and partnership-building to contribute to an effective culture of safety and protection of all communities in Europe.
The UNISDR Europe will work through a growing network of national platforms to mobilize governmental actions in disaster risk reduction as well as directly with the governments in the region, as mandated through the Sendai Framework, and in particular with the UN Country Team members. It will also build effectively on the regional organisations, partners and networks to facilitate the effective implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies.