The third virtual meeting of the Africa Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction (AWGDRR), organized jointly by the African Union Commission (AUC) and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), was held from 25-26 March 2021, under the theme “Accelerating progress towards addressing priorities identified by Member States (MS) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to effectively prepare, respond and recover from COVID-19 and other hazards”.
The meeting was attended by over 80 and 60 participants on the first and second day respectively. The participants were drawn from Member States (MS), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), African Development Bank, African Risk Capacity, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other United Nations organizations, civil society organizations, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Africa Science and Technology Advisory Group (AfSTAG), Africa Youth Advisory Board (AYAB), European Union (DG-INTPA), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Sweden and Organization of African Caribbean and Pacific States Secretariat (OACPS). The meeting was chaired by the African Union Commission, with UNDRR as the Secretariat.
SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS AND ACTION POINTS
The main objective of the meeting was to review progress and agree on the way forward to strengthen the AWGDRR’s support towards addressing priorities identified by MS and RECs to effectively prepare, respond and recover from COVID-19 and other hazards. The meeting also enabled the AWGDRR to review progress and next steps with respect to the revision of the implementation matrix of the Programme of Action for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in Africa (POA) for 2021-2025 as well as preparations for the eighth session of the Africa Regional Platform and seventh High-Level Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction. Moreover, the Group had a briefing on the concept note for the development of the COVID-19 Recovery Framework for Africa.
The AWGDRR received updates from AUC, RECs (COMESA, EAC, ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD, SADC and UMA), UNDRR, UNDP, UNOCHA, IFRC, Africa Science and Technology Advisory Group (AfSTAG), Global Network of Civil Society organizations for DRR (GNDR) and Africa Youth Advisory Board (AYAB) on progress and next steps regarding the implementation of action points agreed during its previous meeting (22 October 2020).