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NEW UNDRR STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 2022-2025
I am very excited to share that UNDRR's Strategic Framework 2022-2025, which was honed with invaluable inputs from UN Member States, UN partners and other stakeholders is now available here. UNDRR's vision is of a world where disaster risks no longer threaten the well-being of people and the future of the planet, and our mission is to provide leadership to accelerate global efforts in disaster risk reduction. Over the next four years, UNDRR will provide enhanced support to Member States to reduce risk, and accelerate risk-informed development pathways, against multiple complex risks, to prevent disasters and ensure sustainable development.
Our four strategic objectives focus on use of quality risk information and analysis; strengthening disaster risk governance; catalysing investment through stakeholder engagement and partnership; mobilizing governments and other stakeholders through advocacy and knowledge sharing. We will enable this through strengthening our organizational performance.
This Strategic Framework sets out our goals and activity focus for the period 2022-2025. UNDRR will prioritize four "accelerators" or areas of work requiring focused attention to accelerate Sendai Framework implementation and achieve greater impact:
Generating robust evidence, innovation and good practices on risk to inform decision-making processes
Accelerating financing for DRR and de-risking investment
Scaling up communication and public advocacy for building highest political traction and commitment to DRR
Integrating the DRR agenda with the climate agenda
It is worth highlighting the inclusion here of communication and public advocacy as we seek to bring greater visibility to what success looks like when disaster risk reduction is done well.
THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC CALLS OUT
FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
I used the occasion of the 6th anniversary of the Sendai Framework on 18 March, to recall how UN Member States included health and biological hazards in the Sendai Framework as a key area of focus. Unfortunately, five years later COVID-19 arrived, and few countries had equipped themselves to deal with it.
The pandemic has dwarfed all other major disasters experienced so far this century including the Somalia famine, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and the Haiti earthquake.
That list could also include the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami ten years ago which was the costliest disaster on record before the arrival of the pandemic. The 11th March anniversary was an occasion to draw attention to the fact that 680 million people live below ten metres above sea-level putting them at risk from the deadliest of all sudden onset disasters.
The world is fast approaching a stage when the impacts of systemic risk and disasters could surpass our ability to manage them. Proactive risk reduction and international cooperation are essential in the existential struggle we face to secure a sustainable and resilient future. International cooperation will be the focus of this year’s Sendai Seven Campaign as we promote Sendai Framework Target (f) which seeks to "substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of the present Framework by 2030."
Given the enormous death toll and economic hardship associated with the pandemic, it will require an herculean effort in the implementation of national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction over the next ten years to achieve other Sendai targets on reducing risk and disaster losses including reducing global disaster mortality, reducing the number of affected people and reducing direct disaster economic loss.
A key element of focus now in relation to bringing the pandemic under control must be vaccine equity, recognizing that immunization from COVID-19 is a global public good. The unfolding tragedy around the globe is proof that no one is safe until we are all vaccinated.
2022 GLOBAL PLATFORM IS TAKING SHAPE
The 7th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2019) will be hosted by Indonesia in Bali, 23-28 May 2022. It follows on from the 2019 Global Platform that took place in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Global Platform represents the next important opportunity for the international community to share experiences, take stock of progress and boost the implementation of the Sendai Framework and related Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, as well as commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. The proceedings and outcomes will be a major contribution to the mid-term review of the Sendai Framework in 2023.
The overall theme of GP2022 is: From Risk to Resilience: Towards Sustainable Development for All in a COVID-19 Transformed World. There are three suggested main themes: Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance to Address Systemic Risk; Social and Economic Recovery From COVID-19 for All; Financing for DRR and Risk-Informed Investments and Development.
The Global Platform will kick-off with two preparatory days, followed by three main days featuring a formal and informal programme. A call for applications to participate in Organizing Teams for High-Level Dialogues and Thematic Sessions will be shared in early June.
In October, additional information on the format of the GP2022 programme and opportunities to engage, including side events and the Innovation Platform, as well as GP2022 format and registration details will be made available. My thanks to representatives from the host country, Indonesia, and many other Member States, stakeholders, and the UN system for their inputs to date.
For additional information on the GP2022 preparations please contact the GP2022 Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
A GENDER RESPONSIVE APPROACH
TO DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
As you read our Strategic Framework, you will notice a renewed focus on gender.
The term 'shadow pandemic' has been used to describe the fact that across every sphere, from health to the economy, from security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex. COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the need for a more gender-responsive and inclusive approach to disaster risk reduction.
That was my main takeaway from an online discussion "Learning from COVID-19 to strengthen gender-responsive Disaster Risk Reduction" hosted by UNDRR, Norad, UN Women, UNFPA, Australian Aid and WIN DRR, and attended by over 250 participants.
Malala Fund research estimates that as a result of the pandemic, 20 million girls in developing countries may never return to the classroom.
We need to put women's resilience at the heart of the pandemic recovery and grasp the opportunity to promote women's leadership for prevention and building resilience. I encourage you to join our rapidly expanding Women's International Network for DRR.
EARTH DAY: THE CONTINUING RISE
OF EXTREME WEATHER
We issued a press release to mark Earth Day highlighting how extreme weather events, notably floods (23%) and storms (26%), exceeded the 20-year average in 2020. A world already in turmoil because of COVID-19 was further roiled by 389 major recorded disasters affecting almost 100 million people. We are truly living in a world of multiple hazards.
Earth Day was an opportunity to remind us that disasters are anything but "natural"; they are rather the result of a natural or man-made hazard, the impact of which is directly related to the exposure and vulnerability of people in the affected area. The No Natural Disasters Campaign continues to receive great support for highlighting this important distinction. The planet is being devastated by a mistaken notion of human progress.
There is no vaccine against climate change. We depend on global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and greater investment in disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change especially for developing countries.
Please take a look at the short report we released on Earth Day 2020: The Non-COVID Year in Disasters with EM-DAT, the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, CRED, Louvain.
NEW TOOLS TO MANAGE
UNDRR, the Platform on Disaster Displacement and the Norwegian Refugee Council are continuing the collaboration around the implementation of Words into Action guidelines - Disaster Displacement.
Drawing on that publication, a new Checklist and eLearning course now offer practical guidance to help governments, regional organizations and other actors to integrate disaster displacement into their national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction in accordance with Sendai Framework Target (e).
The e-Learning course is available free of charge on the Kaya global learning platform at kayaconnect.org in English and Spanish (French version is being completed).
I was happy to contribute to the foreword of the Global Report on Internal Displacement 2021 produced by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. In 2020, conflict and disasters triggered 40.5 million new internal displacements across 149 countries and territories. According to available data, 30.7 million of these new displacements were caused by disasters notably in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas.
Much of this displacement was short-term because of pre-emptive evacuations which help to save lives and prevent injury. However, at the end of 2020 there were at least seven million people living in long-term displacement as a result of disasters and this "is likely to be a significant underestimate" according to the report.
CARIBBEAN FOCUS ON SAFE
SCHOOLS IN THE PANDEMIC
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of ensuring the disaster resilience of schools; schools are specifically mentioned in the Sendai Framework target on reducing the damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services.
Three out of every five students who have missed the entire school year live in Latin America and the Caribbean where, based on the information provided by Ministries of Education, on average, primary and secondary students have lost 158 days of the 190 days of the school calendar in 2020. Many lack access to remote learning facilities.
It was clear from the wide-ranging debate at the Virtual Caribbean Safe School Initiative Pre-Ministerial Forum that the education system must prepare teachers to confront lower learning levels and higher inequality levels when normal schooling resumes after the pandemic.
More than 20 countries and territories as well as multilateral agencies and other partners attended the ten-day event that addressed the Caribbean’s response to the economic, human, natural and health crisis in the education sector.
UNDRR was delighted to be one of the organizers with the Ministries of Education of St. Maarten and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), UNESCO, ISRAAID, and UNICEF.
The resilience of the education system needs to be addressed in national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction.
MCR2030 LAUNCHED IN THE
AMERICAS AND EUROPE
Two of the world's most heavily urbanized regions recently launched the Making Cities Resilient (MCR2030) initiative. I had the pleasure of speaking at both launch events.
MCR2030 provides a platform for strategic actors to share experiences and knowledge for strengthening urban resilience and to strengthen local strategies for disaster risk reduction to both complement and align with planning at the national level.
Latin America and the Caribbean is heavily invested in urban resilience, so it was very welcome to see MCR2030 launch there on 24 February.
The lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic are part of the Regional Assessment Report on Disaster Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean (RAR-LAC) presented recently at the 4TH Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development 2021.
RAR-LAC analyzes the main challenges faced by the region during the last decade. It presents an opportunity to both rethink and implement risk reduction strategies that better meet the challenges of today.
The most recent MCR2030 launch was in May at a regional online event "Together Towards City Resilience", co-organized by the UNDRR Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, and ICLEI Europe. It featured a strong panel of speakers representing five cities: Chisinau, Moldova; Kraljevo, Serbia; Greater Manchester, UK; Zagreb, Croatia; and Wroclaw, Poland.
Mr. Ion Cheban, the General Mayor of Chisinau — the first city to join MCR2030 in the region, said that no city can deal alone with shocks and disasters. For Chisinau one of the main priorities within MCR2030 is coordinated resilience investment.
Mr. Wolfgang Teubner, ICLEI Regional Director, welcomed the regional approach that will make the initiative relevant, practical and beneficial for cities in Europe and Central Asia.
Ms. Kathy Oldham, Chief Resilience Officer, representing Greater Manchester and a veteran of the earlier phase of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, emphasized the importance of the MCR network. She further noted that the approaches of MCR can help to bridge silos across the city system, draw a wider range of partners into discussions about resilience and can assist in putting resilience on the top table of the city region’s considerations.
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I hope that you will find this update useful and informative.
If you would like more information about UNDRR’s many activities, please do visit www.undrr.org and please — stay safe and well.
UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction