We campaign for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and its seven targets designed to achieve substantial reductions in mortality, numbers of people affected, direct disaster economic loss and disaster damage to critical infrastructure.
UNISDR seeks to create global awareness of disaster risk reduction benefits and empower people to reduce their vulnerability to hazards. UNISDR’s preferred approach is advocating and laying the foundation for action, developing and providing the necessary tools, and then mobilizing partners to take ownership and drive disaster risk reduction initiatives forward, with UNISDR supporting as needed. Our current campaigns focus on safer schools and hospitals, the private sector and resilient cities.
Cities and local governments need to get ready, reduce the risks and become resilient to disasters. More than 3,000 cities and municipalities across over a hundred countries have signed up to the campaign, which UNISDR launched in 2010. Many of them are assessing and acting on their disaster risk, conducting regular capacity development for line departments and public education campaigns for risk-prone communities. As a result of cities joining the campaign, at least 850 municipalities in 62 countries have a dedicated institutional point of responsibility for disaster risk reduction, backed with budget allocations. Cities in India, Indonesia, Jordan and the Philippines have set up special disaster risk reduction units.
The One Million Safe Schools and Hospitals Campaign is a global advocacy initiative to make schools and hospitals safe from disasters. People in unsafe schools, hospitals and health facilities are at the greatest risk of losing their lives when a disaster strikes. To date over 290,000 schools and hospitals have been pledged for safety, and 26 countries (7 in the Arab region and 19 in Asia and the Pacific) were implementing action plans for safe schools and hospitals. Integrating the Initiative into various donor calls for proposals has had a multiplier effect, leveraging more investment, and engaging more actors in promoting school and hospital safety.
The UNISDR is facilitating action with members of the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GAD3RES) to promote coherent and coordinated action on school safety globally.
Currently a voluntary group of more than 140 large companies and SMEs from 40 countries work with UNISDR towards making both short- and long-term investments across all industry sectors more risk-sensitive and resilient. To implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR and its partners have created the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies, also known as ARISE. The overall goal of ARISE is to create risk-resilient societies by energising the private sector in collaboration with the public sector and other stakeholders to deliver on the targets of the Sendai Framework.
International Day for Disaster Reduction takes place every 13 October. UNISDR has developed it into a high-profile global event that focuses on neglected aspects of the disaster risk reduction challenge. International Day for Disaster Reductioon has a tradition of being people-centred. In recent years it has focussed on Children and Youth (2011), Women and Girls (2012), Persons Living with Disabilities (2013) and Older Persons (2014). In 2015, the theme was the use of local, traditional and indigenous knowledge for disaster risk reduction. The 2016 edition centred on the first of the Sendai Framework's seven targets: reducing disaster mortality.
The United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction is awarded to an individual or institutions that have taken active efforts in reducing disaster risk in their communities and advocates for disaster risk reduction.
Since 2000, UNISDR has advocated for disaster risk reduction through its World Disaster Reduction Campaign. From targeting various thematic development areas, campaigning for safer schools and hospitals, to making cities resilient, UNISDR is committed to helping societies become resilient to disasters.
World Tsunami Awareness Day, which under a UN General Assembly resolution will be marked every 5 November, first took place in 2016. UNISDR's role is to facilitate and promote activities around the globe for this important new international event. Tsunamis are rare. But they can be extremely deadly. Such a stark impact isn't inevitable, however. Early warning systems can save lives. Equally important is community and individual understanding about how and where to evacuate before a wave strikes. Tsunamis know no borders, making international cooperation key for deeper political and public awareness of risk reduction measures.