Did you know that in 2020 nearly 100 million people worldwide were affected by disasters? Last year was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, massive wildfires in Australia and the US, the explosion in the harbor of Beirut, floods in China, South Sudan and Japan, as well as the locust-plague in eastern Africa. In 2021, flash floods in Germany and Belgium as well as the earthquake and a tropical storm in Haiti were extreme natural events turning into disasters. Due to underlying risk drivers such as climate change, poverty or rapid and unplanned urbanisation, such extreme events and disasters affect an increasing number of people, leading to more social inequalities and massive economic losses.
“Only together we can make true progress towards a safer and more resilient planet.”
So, what can be done?
Since hazards and disasters are becoming more frequent, interconnected and severe, coordinated action and international cooperation is needed to mitigate risks, reduce the impacts of disasters and safeguard adequate livelihoods for everyone. This cannot be achieved by only responding to disasters but relies even more on reducing risks and on working together.
Today’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction #DRRday reminds us all on the importance of reducing disaster risks as well as the losses in lives, livelihoods, and health. Thus, this day raises awareness for extreme events and what needs to be done to prevent them from becoming disasters.
Focusing on the Sendai Frameworks’ target of enhancing International Cooperation to developing countries, this year’s DRR Day emphasizes that #OnlyTogether we can tackle current and future risks.
International cooperation is key to Disaster Risk Reduction and Management!
Working together in a cooperative way holds major benefits – you can get new insights to prevention by shared information, gain access to more resources in case of extreme events and learn from others' experiences and best practices. With international cooperation in Disaster Risk Reduction, we can better ensure that no vulnerable people and communities are left behind. We can address drivers of disasters like poverty, food insecurities or fragile contexts and reduce economic losses resulting from disasters.
To improve the German contribution to Disaster Risk Management worldwide and to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework, GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) implements the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM), which has been set up against the backdrop of rising global challenges from disaster risks in 2013. In times of increased vulnerability and interdependencies worldwide, the GIDRM focuses on safeguarding development achievements through risk-informed development.