International Day for Disaster Reduction – 13 October 2018
The United Nations’ International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction is annually observed on 13 October to raise the profile of disaster risk reduction. Since its creation in 1989, the global observance also encourages governments to participate in building more resilient communities and nations.
The day is meant to draw attention to disaster prevention, mitigation and general disaster preparedness. Every year the day has a specific focus, and the sub-theme of this year’s campaign is to reduce the economic loss of disasters. The day is also used to draw attention to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the seven global targets of the Sendai Framework.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is an international document that was adopted by UN member states in 2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. According to the document, the goal of the framework is:
“The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.”
With the recent spike of hurricanes, earthquakes, typhoons, and floods around the world, awareness about global disaster reduction could not have come at a better time. The severity, frequency, and economic losses from these natural disasters are being fuelled by climate change.
In addition, the UN reported that the economic losses from disasters in low and middle-income countries are undermining efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and deprive governments of funds to spend on health, education, social protection and other important public needs.
According to a report by Prevention Web, disasters cost the global economy an estimated US$520 billion every year, displacing millions of people and pushing many of them into poverty. Reducing economic losses from disasters has the power to transform lives, which is why reducing economic losses was the focus of this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction.
Next year’s International Day for Natural Disasters will be on 9 October, 2019.
The AIDF Global Summit will return to Washington D.C, in 2019.
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Photo Credit: UN International Day for Disaster Reduction