The latest resilience news from around the world

Larger, ever more complex and more expensive disasters are occurring and are having a higher than necessary impact because decision makers are failing to put people first and prevent risks from becoming disasters. This is the conclusion of a multi-country review initiated by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). Disaster risk is out of control says the agency.

The review, mandated by the UN General Assembly, looked at how countries are implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which is an international agreement with seven targets that was adopted in 2015 by 187 countries to reduce disaster losses by the year 2030. 

Eight years into its implementation, many of the past disaster lessons seem to have been ignored, says UNDRR, as the ‘Report on the Findings and Recommendations of the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework’ found that ‘progress has stalled and, in some cases, reversed’.

Among the troubling reversals is that there has been an 80 percent increase in the number of people affected by disasters since 2015. Moreover, the costs of disasters remain high, with an average above US$ 330 billion per year between 2015 and 2021, which is estimated to be significantly undervalued.  And at the same time, there has been no commensurate increase in funding for disaster risk reduction.

“One doesn’t have to look hard to find examples of how disasters are becoming worse. The sad fact is that many of these disasters are preventable because they are caused by human decisions. The call to action of the Midterm Review is that countries need to reduce risk in every decision, action, and investment they make,” said Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of UNDRR.

The report points to the rapid accumulation of risk that is building up, intersecting with the risks of breaching planetary boundaries, biodiversity and ecosystem limits – which is spiralling out of control. The world’s societies, technologies, and environments have become hyperconnected, so that disasters can spread quickly.

But the report does point to areas of progress, including on data quality and analysis, and how countries are organizing themselves to adopt a prevention-oriented approach through national disaster risk reduction strategies. These have a key objective of ensuring strong and inclusive governance systems to manage disaster risk and their potential to cause a cascade of dangerous effects. To date, 125 countries have reported developing such strategies.

Disaster preparedness has also advanced and is now more effective in saving lives. This is reflected through a decline in disaster related mortality (barring COVID-19 impact) from 1.77 per 100,000 global population in the decade 2005-2014 to 0.84 in the decade 2012-2021. A safer world is achievable. If countries, regulators and the key sectors that our lives depend on invest the resources to understand and reduce risks, disasters can be prevented. 

The challenge now is accelerating progress to meet the scale challenge. The report captures several recommendations, which will be discussed over two days (18 and 19 May) at a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Read the report.

Want news and features emailed to you?

Signup to our free newsletters and never miss a story.

A website you can trust

The entire Continuity Central website is scanned daily by Sucuri to ensure that no malware exists within the site. This means that you can browse with complete confidence.

Business continuity?

Business continuity can be defined as 'the processes, procedures, decisions and activities to ensure that an organization can continue to function through an operational interruption'. Read more about the basics of business continuity here.

Get the latest news and information sent to you by email

Continuity Central provides a number of free newsletters which are distributed by email. To subscribe click here.