As disasters increase, risk reduction should a be a concern for all – UN chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed that disaster risk reduction should be a daily concern for everyone, noting that vulnerability to catastrophes is growing faster than the world’s capacity to strengthen resilience, as evidenced by the devastation wrought by the recent series of floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and droughts.

Six UN-backed green awards handed out for work in disasters

An organization tackling health-threatening pollution in developing countries and a renowned academic working to make houses safer during earthquakes are among the recipients of awards announced today by the United Nations and the environmental group founded by the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Participants at UN disaster risk meeting pledge to improve preparedness

Government representatives at a major United Nations conference on disaster risk reduction today pledged to put disaster preparedness at the forefront of their plans to protect communities, noting that economic losses associated with natural catastrophes have outpaced wealth creation in some regions.

UN official underlines need for disaster preparedness to enhance resilience

The head of the United Nations office tasked with assisting countries with disaster risk reduction today stressed that governments and communities must urgently build disaster preparedness to avoid paying higher human and economic costs when such events occur.

Information technology opens new routes for emergency disaster relief – UN report

The vital role of new information technology in responding rapidly to sudden onset emergencies is highlighted in a new United Nations study released today, identifying best practice and lessons learned from last year’s devastating Haitian earthquake.

UN voices sorrow, pledges assistance after quake and tsunami hit Japan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep sorrow today and offered the full support of the United Nations after a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan, killing dozens of people and destroying towns, villages and large swathes of infrastructure.

Australia’s disaster risk preparedness helped prevent Cyclone Yasi casualties – UN official

A high level of disaster risk awareness, preparedness and planning helped prevent casualties when Tropical Cyclone Yasi struck north-east Australia earlier this week, the United Nations’ top disaster risk official said today, urging other countries to invest in improving their capacity to respond to such disasters.