The International Day for Disaster Reduction is held annually on 13 October, and the day celebrates 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 day was initiated on 1989, after a call by the United Nations’ General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk awareness and disaster reduction.
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.
This International Day for Disaster Reduction is an opportunity to acknowledge the progress being made toward reducing disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods, and health. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) works with thinkers, practitioners, experts, and innovators to investigate the state of risk across the globe: highlighting what’s new, spotting emerging trends, revealing disturbing patterns, examining behaviour, and presenting progress in reducing risk.
This year's theme for the International Day for Disaster Reduction is ‘International cooperation for developing countries to reduce their disaster risk and disaster losses’ and it is also one of the sixth targets of the Sendai Seven. Disasters impact in low and middle income countries disproportionately, particularly in terms of mortality, numbers of people injured, displaced and homeless, economic losses (as a percentage of GDP) and damage to critical infrastructure. We cannot eradicate poverty and hunger if we do not step up investments in disaster risk reduction.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), believe that young people should be part of the advocacy and decision making platforms together with representatives of governments, local governments, disaster management agencies, United Nations agencies, NGOs, 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.
We also urge young people and other stakeholders to be part in efforts to establish communities that will make more disaster resilient nations. 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. It is time to raise our game if we want to leave a more resilient planet to future generations.