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International Day for Disaster Reduction

This topic provides information about International Day for Disaster Reduction - October 13

International Day for Disaster Reduction began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

International Day for Disaster Reduction 2018

The 2018 edition continues as part of the "Sendai Seven" campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. This year will focus on Target C of the Sendai Framework, reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030.


Use International Day for Disaster Reduction on 13 October 2018 to:
Provide an advocacy platform to all governments, local governments, disaster management agencies, UN agencies, NGOs, Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, civil society groups, businesses, academic and scientific institutions, and other interested groups to highlight the economic consequences of failure to manage disaster risk, particularly for vulnerable groups in low and middle-income countries

Sendai Seven Campaign

The Sendai Framework has seven strategic targets and 38 indicators for measuring progress on reducing disaster losses. In 2016, the UN Secretary-General launched “The Sendai Seven Campaign” to promote each of the seven targets over seven years. The 2018 target is focussed on target (c): “Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.”

In keeping with the Day’s focus on the impact that disasters have on people’s lives and well-being, this year’s theme is about conveying the message that disasters have a human cost and reducing economic losses from disasters can transform lives.

This follows a year in which natural hazards have contributed to record economic losses worldwide of an estimated US$ 350 billion in insured and uninsured losses, impacting severely on many sectors of the economy in affected countries as well as impacting on availability of public monies for social expenditure in areas such as education and health which are vital to achievement of sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.

The Sendai Seven Campaign is an opportunity for all, including governments, local governments, community groups, civil society organisations, the private sector, international organisations and the UN family, to promote best practice at international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses.

  • 2016 – Target 1: Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower the average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
  • 2017 – Target 2 : Substantially reduce the number of people affected globally by 2030, aiming to lower the average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
  • 2018 – Target 3 : Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
  • 2019 – Target 4 : Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030.
  • 2020 – Target 5 : Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.
  • 2021 – Target 6: 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.
  • 2022 – Target 7 : Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.

Key Messages

  1. If it’s not risk informed, it’s not sustainable, and if it’s not sustainable it has a human cost.
  2. Disasters are gateways to poverty and distress for many vulnerable people living in low and middle-income countries particularly.
  3. Increasing exposure of people and economic assets has been the major cause of long-term increases in economic loss from disasters and shows that the economic incentives for location in many hazard-prone areas continue to outweigh the perceived disaster risks.
  4. While absolute economic loss is concentrated in higher income countries, in relative terms it is a far greater problem for low-income countries.
  5. Expressed as a proportion of social expenditure, expected annual losses in low-income countries are five times higher than in high-income countries.
  6. The countries with the greatest need to invest in social development are those most challenged by disaster risk.
  7. Investment in disaster risk reduction generally represents a large saving in terms of avoided losses and reconstruction costs with cost benefit ratios ranging from 3:1 to 15:1 or higher in some cases.
  8. Integrating disaster risk reduction into investment decisions is the most cost-effective way to reduce risk.
  9. Investing in disaster risk reduction is a precondition for developing sustainably in a changing climate.
  10. If risk reduction can be included explicitly in national development and climate adaptation plans and budgets, all parts of government are then able to programme risk reduction actions and investments.

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