Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction
Each year, millions of people throughout the world are affected by hazards such as droughts, floods, volcanic eruptions, mudslides, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and forest fires. The frequency of these hazards1 is increasing and their impact is heightened by poverty, increased population density, rampant and uncontrolled urbanisation, environmental degradation and climate change. The occurrence of manmade hazards is also increasing.
These hazards, when combined with different vulnerability factors, can cause considerable damage when capacity to cope with them is poor. Among affected people, some are disproportionately impacted due to factors such as age, gender or disability.
However, experience has shown that the impact these events can have on people and property, as well as the resulting needs for humanitarian assistance, can be significantly mitigated by modest but effective prior investments in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
DRR can preserve lives and increase the resilience of communities by strengthening their capacity to anticipate, absorb and recover from these shocks. DRR is also cost-effective. “On average, every euro invested in DRR activities saves between four and seven euros in the response to the consequences of natural disasters” .
This is the why, since 2001, Handicap International has been supporting strategies that empower communities and local institutions to prepare for, reduce the impact of, and respond to disasters and, in the long-term, increase their resilience.
Our objective and added-value is also to ensure that these strategies are inclusive, enabling the most atrisk groups, and especially people with disabilities, to become actors in risk reduction and to benefit from protection.
Lastly, the cross-cutting nature of DRR activity creates links between emergency response and development, by making investments in the field more sustainable and thereby supporting continuity of services and resilience of populations.