UN Central Emergency Response Fund commits $241 million to help disaster-hit areas

The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has furnished $241 million to help provide relief to disaster-hit areas in some 30 countries since its establishment nine months ago, the world body’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced today.

UN stresses key role of communications in mitigating impact of disasters

Aware that communications can make the difference between life and mass death in a natural disaster, the United Nations today opened a four-day workshop for the Asia-Pacific region to streamline that key element in the overall strategy to mitigate the impact of natural catastrophes that it launched after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

UN updates guidelines for international military aid in disaster relief operations

The United Nations today launched updated guidelines for improving the effectiveness of foreign military and civil defence assets in international disaster relief operations, such as those used in response to the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami two years ago.

UN emergency chief urges action on disasters today to prevent calamity tomorrow

With global warming threatening to change the face of the planet, mega-cities looming as potential earthquake mega-traps, and the world’s poorest exposed as the most vulnerable, the top United Nations emergency relief official is calling for “action today to prevent calamity tomorrow” by investing in disaster mitigation.

UN humanitarian chief points to disaster relief fund as example of successful reform

The landmark United Nations fund set up to jump-start relief operations for natural and man-made disasters and save thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost to delay offers “living proof” that the world body can reform, the UN’s top humanitarian official said today.

UN stresses education of schoolchildren as key to reducing impact of natural disasters

With natural disasters claiming more than 600,000 lives and affecting more than 2.4 billion people over the last decade, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for educating schoolchildren on ways to prepare for such hazards and thus reduce the death toll and damage that they cause.

UN and other experts call for more commitment to reduce the impact of natural disasters

Ahead of tomorrow’s International Day of Disaster Reduction, the United Nations top aid official and other experts have urged world leaders to improve efforts to deal with natural hazards and their impact on hundreds of millions of people, saying progress has been made but warning that more needs to be done.

A year after devastating hurricane, many Guatemalans still need UN assistance

Thousands of Guatemalans still depend on emergency food aid, one year after Hurricane Stan killed more than 1,500 people and devastated communities and landscapes across Central America, the United Nations’ humanitarian arm said today.

UN agencies move ahead on new initiative to mitigate impact of natural disasters

In a further move to mitigate the impact of natural disasters, United Nations agencies today announced a new initiative to lower the risks involved through preparatory action as well as to spur recovery through speedy response.

UN agency issues a hi-tech roadmap for managing disasters following Caribbean forum

In a region still reeling from the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane season, the most active and destructive in history, United Nations disaster experts and partners meeting in the Caribbean have issued a roadmap on how to use information and communication technologies to improve search-and-rescue missions, medical care and emergency relief.