Canada Can Help Reduce Disaster Risk

OTTAWA, March 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Disaster Risk Reduction is not a household phrase. That is because most people only think about disasters when one has already happened and they are asked to make a donation to support relief efforts. But it is the collective responsibility of governments and humanitarian organizations to find ways of mitigating the risks of disaster facing vulnerable populations.

On March 14-18, the city of Sendai in Japan is hosting the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. In preparation for this gathering of international experts and diplomats, for the last two years consultations have taken place on every continent.

The good news is that the world has never been better equipped to respond to disasters. Humanitarian organizations today are investing in early warning systems, training national staff, supporting local responders, and adhering to stronger implementation and accountability standards. Most governments around the globe have improved building regulations and established disaster response strategies and capacity.  The bad news is that the number of people living in extreme vulnerability to disasters, in absolute terms, has never been higher.  Demographic growth, unsustainable urbanization, and climate change all combine to place countless communities at risk. This means that hundreds of millions of people cannot rely on the infrastructure, food reserves, health services, shelters, and other basic resources that would help them cope with, or recover from, a natural disaster.

In Japan, work will focus on finalizing a successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) for Disaster Risk Reduction around the globe. The outcome of the conference will set the stage for the next decade of progress in protecting people from the effects of disasters. Evidence has consistently shown that Disaster Risk Reduction measures save lives.  It also shows that investments in risk reduction are far more cost-effective than post-disaster responses.

Canada has a long history and enviable track-record when it comes to humanitarian response and systems. As the humanitarian community looks to the future, Canada can take the opportunity of this Conference to lead and inspire others to make life safer for those who are most likely to be affected by catastrophes. Canada can do so by championing strong global and national targets for risk reduction – which include tackling underlying risk drivers and compounding factors – and by committing significant, long-term financing to risk reduction efforts that reflect the ambitions of the new DRR framework for action.

The Humanitarian Coalition is a joint appeal mechanism comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children.


SOURCE Humanitarian Coalition

Image with caption: "Humanitarian Coalition (CNW Group/Humanitarian Coalition)". Image available at:

For further information: and media queries, please contact: Nicolas Moyer, Executive Director, Humanitarian Coalition, 613- 239-2154


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