Oct 25, 2012
As the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (5thAMCDRR) gets underway in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling on governments to commit more resources to support disaster risk reduction initiatives at the local level.
Yogyakarta: ‘Reducing the threats that hazard prone communities face is one our foremost priorities’, explains Al Panico, the IFRC’s acting director in Asia Pacific. ‘We are urging governments to direct at least 5 to 10 per cent of annual local revenue into disaster risk reduction efforts.”
On its part, the IFRC’s Governing Board has committed 10% of future emergency appeals to strengthen disaster risk reduction programmes.
Studies suggest that, with the cost of disasters increasing, disaster risk reduction is often the most sustainable way to use funds. For every USD1 spent on prevention and risk reduction, USD10 - USD15 is saved in economic losses arising from disasters.
“Strengthening community resilience and reducing disaster risks are critical elements in promoting sustainable development. They must be part of the international development agenda beyond 2015, post-Hyogo Framework for Action and the Millennium Development Goals,” says Budi Adiputro, secretary general of the Indonesian Red Cross, which continues to be a key partner with the Indonesian government in creating safe environments for vulnerable communities.
At the 5th AMCDRR the IFRC is releasing a new report 'Understanding community resilience and programme factors that strengthen them’. The report captures learning from the humanitarian response to the Red Cross Red Crescent Indian Ocean Tsunami operation. It draws on first-hand discussions with community members in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand and the Maldives. The results reveal some key characteristics of resilience, as defined by communities themselves; Being well organised, having access to health care and other services, having power and transport services, economic opportunities, control over natural assets in their communities and strong partnerships with external actors.
‘In many ways this is a ground-breaking study, we spoke with over 30 communities and captured the perspectives of ordinary people who are living with risk in their daily lives. Their views have now shaped our priority areas for action’, explains Al Panico.
More than 1,100 participants from 97 countries representing government, academia, the private sector, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the United Nations, civil society and the media, are participating at the 5th AMCDRR. The Red Cross Red Crescent will be represented by delegation of over 50 participants.