The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) & Give2asia renew its commitment to strengthening local actions in disaster risk reduction

Originally published

Silang, Cavite, Philippines & San Francisco, California USA

In the light of the adoption of the Sendai Framework Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction this month in Sendai, Japan; IIRR and Give2Asia express renewed commitment and partnership toward promoting disaster risk reduction as an essential element of achieving empowered rural and urban communities. IIRR will continue to design, deliver and scale-up locally driven disaster risk reduction in Asia and Africa. Give2Asia commits to continue donor education efforts on DRR, support its network of local DRR implementers, and integrate DRR into disaster recovery efforts.

As a general sentiment, IIRR and Give2Asia consider the Sendai Framework as another victory for the global community in putting disaster risk reduction and building community resilience as a top development priority that cuts across nations in the North and in the South. IIRR and Give2Asia also recognize the expanding understanding of the framework agreement with regards to disaster risk reduction as indicated by the increasing mention of (1) new hazards stemming from health, technology and conflict; (2) the inclusion of women, children, young people, indigenous people and person with disabilities; and (3) the significant role of the private sector in promoting disaster risk reduction.

While this is a significant development, IIRR and Give2Asia believe the framework agreement would have been better if it included global targets that seek0 to increase global financial investment in disaster risk reduction, which is at the moment skewed to disaster response and relief. Secondly, while the Sendai Framework recognizes the critical role of States and local authorities, it offers unclear actions in supporting States and governments to deliver their commitments. In this light, we call on governments and civil society alike to:

  1. Review existing and adopt national platforms on disaster risk reduction that includes increased financial investments, (b) increased support for local authorities (c) social inclusion of elderly, children and youth, women and persons with disabilities (PWD)s in the DRR process

  2. Develop and implement capacity building programs for local authorities, local NGOs and community leaders, equipping them with both knowledge and skills to facilitate and sustain local disaster risk reduction.

  3. Create and develop a financial mechanisms where local community organizations can access 0to incubate and support innovative local disaster risk reduction and management approaches.

  4. Develop mechanisms to provide incentives for the private sector to integrate disaster risk reduction into the way they do business as well as increase financial support for disaster risk reduction in the communities in which they work.

  5. Continue and strengthen the implementation of safe schools by (a) stopping the practice of using public schools as disaster evacuation centers which is affecting the quality of public education and by (b) building adequate and safe evacuation centers in strategic places in the most at risk communities.΄

  6. Develop strategies that maximize disaster response and recovery, including “building back better” elements to address the underlying causes of disaster risks.

Signed on March 30, 2015 by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) and Give2Asia.