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5th Africa Regional Platform for DRR opens in Abuja

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ABUJA, 13 May 2014 – A record attendance is expected for this week’s 5th Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction which opens today in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Some 700 politicians, disaster managers and civil society representatives from across Africa are registered to attend on May 13-17 and will review the continent’s progress in disaster risk management.

In her opening remarks, Margareta Wahlström, Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), said: “Africa has the opportunity this week to make a significant contribution to shaping the Post-2015 development agenda through its recommendations for inclusion in the global framework for disaster risk reduction which will be adopted at next year’s Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan.

“The risk profile of many African countries is characterized by high levels of poverty; dynamic and fast urbanization; a large unemployed youth population; and insufficient infrastructure to unlock fully the economic potential of many countries. The 5th Africa Platform is an opportunity for countries to shape an actionable policy agenda which supports economic development, attracts investment and reduces economic losses from disasters.

“I would like to extend a special word of appreciation to the Nigerian government and our host the National Emergency Management Agency for their support to this important gathering. It is a statement of intent that 46 countries are represented here.

“The conference supports the #BringOurGirlsHome campaign. UNISDR has campaigned for women and girls to be fully included in disaster risk management and it is unacceptable that anyone should be targeted for seeking an education which will equip them to play a full role in society.”

About UNISDR: UNISDR is the UN office dedicated to disaster risk reduction. It is led by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and supports implementation of theHyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters which seeks “the substantial reduction of disaster losses, in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of communities and countries.”