Disaster Risk Reduction

Shift needed from what weather will be, to ‘what the weather will do’

Extreme weather and climate events have increased in frequency, intensity and severity as a result of climate change, hitting vulnerable communities disproportionately hard, a new UN report has revealed, calling for greater investment in effective early warning systems. 

Bad situations ‘only get worse’ without disaster risk governance, UN chief says on International Day

With nations facing multiple crises simultaneously and a dramatic rise in extreme weather events in recent decades, the UN Secretary-General has called for strengthening disaster risk governance, to build a safer, more resilient world. 

News in Brief 12 October 2020

  • Staggering rise in climate emergencies in last 20 years, disaster research shows 
  • Food summit will address hunger and climate emergency 
  • Despair widespread among refugees because of COVID pandemic: UNHCR 
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‘Staggering’ rise in climate emergencies in last 20 years, new disaster research shows

The first 20 years of this century have seen a “staggering” rise in climate disasters, UN researchers said on Monday, while also maintaining that “almost all nations” have failed to prevent a “wave of death and illness” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Climate change: Record northern heat, fuels concerns over US wildfire destruction

The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday, amid searing conditions that have contributed to devastating wildfires on the west coast of the United States.

How can the UN help prevent another Beirut disaster?

The devastation caused by the Beirut explosions on 4 August has focused attention on the risks involved in the transportation and storage of dangerous goods around the world. The UN is at the forefront of international efforts to reduce these risks and save lives. 

India and Bangladesh: Health and environmental risks grow, following deadly cyclone

UN humanitarians and partners are working hard to assist the people of Bangladesh and India suffering from the impact of Cyclone Amphan, which left dozens dead, causing widespread destruction.

According to the UN Country Team in India, Cyclone Amphan, with more than 2.4 million people and 500,000 livestock evacuated to cyclone shelters., is now considered even more destructive than Cyclone Aila, which slammed the region in 2009.

Due to flooding and the extensive damage caused, the risk of disease outbreaks is high, and further environmental risks remain, due to the large amounts of debris and waste.

Ranjini Mukherjee, Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist, from UN India, described the situation to UN News’s Anshu Sharma, and told her that efforts continue to be implemented in shelter homes to minimize risk of infection and prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

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Reducing disaster risk is a good investment, and ‘the right thing to do’, says Guterres

There is a strong economic case for climate resilience and reducing the risk of disasters, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a message to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, which falls on Sunday.

News in Brief 5 November 2018

  • Healing of ozone layer gives hope for climate action: UN report
  • Saudi Arabia expresses Khashoggi killing ‘regret and pain’ at UN rights review
  • ‘Rare but devastating’ tsunamis underscore need for better preparation, UN chief urges on World Day
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Improve collection of data on disasters, Secretary-General Guterres urges

Highlighting the steep human and economic impact of disasters, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on countries to improve data collection on the catastrophes, including comprehensive accounting of economic losses, to advance progress on crisis prevention.