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International Day for Disaster Reduction

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 2021

'International cooperation for developing countries’ is the theme of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on 13 October to reduce their disaster risk and disaster losses.”  This is the sixth of the Sendai Seven targets.

The year 2021 promises to be a make or break year when it comes to delivering on the policy agenda agreed in 2015. Without real action on climate in the next ten years, extreme weather events will be overwhelming, especially for developing countries. 

Disasters impact low- and middle-income countries disproportionately, particularly in terms of mortality, numbers of people injured, displaced and homeless, economic losses (as a percentage of GDP) and damage to critical infrastructure. We cannot eradicate poverty and hunger if we don’t step up investments in disaster risk reduction. International cooperation for developing countries through Official Development Aid (ODA) and capacity building is essential to boost disaster resilience in the face of extreme weather events and other natural and man-made hazards. 

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 2019 target is target(d): "Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and education facilities, including through developing their resilience 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 many disasters can be avoided or prevented if there is a risk-informed approach to the development,construction and maintenance of critical infrastructure, in order to ensure that the creation of new risk is avoided, and that critical infrastructure continues to function during and after a disaster.

One metric which illustrates the extent of the challenge is the scale of insured economic losses over the three years since the Sendai Framework was launched. Overall insurance industry estimates of direct economic losses during those three years comes to $665 billion.

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.

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