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"Reducing the economic losses from disasters has the power to transform lives and contribute greatly to the eradication of poverty. As we mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction, let us reaffirm our commitment to this vital endeavour." — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

Disaster reduction is the conception and practice of reducing disaster risks through efficient efforts to analyse and reduce the causal factors of disasters. Reducing exposure to hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improving preparedness and early warning for adverse events are all examples of disaster reduction.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly, a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13th of October to celebrate how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

This year’s theme is “Reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global gross domestic product by 2030”. In 2017 alone, 9,000 lives were lost and 96 million people were affected by disasters due to floods, wildfires and earthquakes, causing €270 billion in combined losses it was the second costliest year on record in terms of damages caused by natural hazards. The 2018 International Day for Disaster Reduction focuses on diminishing the economic impact of disasters worldwide. The commemoration will provide an advocacy platform to highlight the economic consequences of failure to manage disaster risk, particularly for vulnerable groups in low and middle-income countries.

The 2018 theme continues as part of the "Sendai Seven" campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. This year focuses on Target C of the Sendai Framework, reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030.

We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), urge all citizens and governments to be part in efforts to establish communities and societies that will make more disaster- resilient nations. We believe they should be an advocacy platform to all governments, local governments, disaster management agencies, UN agencies, NGOs, Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, civil society groups, businesses, academic and scientific institutions, and other interested groups to demonstrate support for gender-sensitive implementation of the Sendai Framework and to highlight achievements and challenges in so doing with a particular focus on reducing the numbers of people affected by disasters.

Therefore, let us tackle vulnerability to significantly reduce the risk of disaster and build safer and more resilient communities, through a combination of disaster preparedness and community-led mitigation measures.