Disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives encapsulate the growing recognition that relief is not enough in mitigating disasters and that resilient communities in fact are the key to reducing the impact and severity of natural hazards when they strike. During 2010 alone more than 208 million people were affected by natural hazards. Equally alarming is the projection, that should current trends continue, annually 100,000 lives will be lost each year, while the costs of natural disasters will be in excess of US$ 300 billion per year by 2050. These vulnerabilities become even more pronounced in poorer nations where it is estimated that 97 per cent of all people killed by natural disasters each year occur in developing countries. The challenge remains in keeping the spotlight on DRR efforts and maintaining the engagement of concerned actors including governments and donors on the issue at hand. Although relief and emergency appeals procure greater investment and garner greater global advocacy and resource mobilization, studies have indicated that investment in DRR is highly cost-effective and more importantly has a profound impact in saving lives and livelihoods when natural hazards strike. The challenge remains in mainstreaming a ‘culture of preparedness’ and accruing the necessary financial investment and institutional support to maintain it.
This global guide to advocacy for DRR aims to strengthen the skills, knowledge and proficiency of practitioners in advocating on DRR approaches to decision-makers, donors and policy-makers. It is designed to help National Societies meet those challenges.