UN disaster teams reach 1,000th deployment

The 16-year-old United Nations disaster response system reached its 1,000th deployment this year, with the dispatch of experts to the storm-battered Philippines.

Majority of disaster deaths in 2009 climate-related, says UN

More than three quarters of those people who died in disasters this year lost their lives to extreme weather events, which caused nearly $15 billion in damages worldwide, the top United Nations official on disaster risk reduction announced today.

NEWSMAKER: UN disaster expert knows first-hand what Copenhagen failure could entail

Among those keeping a close eye on the outcome of next month’s climate summit in Copenhagen is the head of the United Nations body dealing with disaster risk reduction, who has seen first-hand the devastation wrought by increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters aggravated by climate change.

UN examines how to use technology to minimize disaster damage in Asia-Pacific

Better utilizing information and communication technology (ICT) to prepare for and deal with catastrophic natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region is the focus of a United Nations meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, today.

Ban calls for urgent action to minimize disaster damage in Asia

With Asia being the world’s most vulnerable place for natural disasters, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need for boosting efforts across the continent to prepare for catastrophes before they occur.

UN agencies warn greater efforts needed to protect hospitals, schools from disasters

Disaster risk reduction measures must be strengthened to increase the resilience of hospitals and schools, according to a joint call issued today by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Afghanistan: UN agencies rushing relief to victims hit by natural disasters

United Nations agencies and their partners are assisting the Government of Afghanistan in responding to flash floods, landslides and earthquakes which have struck various parts of the country in recent days, killing at least 15 people and leaving thousands homeless.

UN relief chief lauds China’s work on disaster recovery, preparedness

Wrapping up a visit to China today, the top United Nations relief official praised the East Asian nation’s disaster preparedness and recovery efforts as the first anniversary of the devastating Wenchuan earthquake neared.

Italy: Ban voices sorrow over deadly earthquake, UN stands ready to assist

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his sadness over the heavy loss of life in this morning’s earthquake in central Italy, with the United Nations having alerted the European nation’s Government that it is prepared to provide disaster response support.

Asia-Pacific nations to boost efforts to curb disaster risk – UN

Nations in Asia and the Pacific – the world’s most disaster-prone region – will bolster their cooperation to share information on disaster risk reduction, a new United Nations-backed commission has agreed.