Former UN General Assembly president appointed to disaster risk reduction, water post

Han Seung-soo of the Republic of Korea has been appointed to rally commitments from Member States, the private sector and civil society to support the United Nations’ work on water related disaster risk reduction, it was announced today.

On International Disaster Reduction Day, UN focuses on safety of persons with disabilities

Marking the International Day for Disaster Reduction, the United Nations today called on countries to ensure the safety of persons with disabilities by including them in their planning and preparedness measures.

UN survey shows needs of persons with disabilities largely ignored during disasters

A high proportion of persons with disabilities die or suffer injuries during disasters because they are rarely consulted about their needs and Governments lack adequate measures to address them, according to a United Nations survey released today ahead of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

Cities must use full spectrum of local resource to mitigate flood risks, says senior UN official

Increased urban flooding poses a direct threat to the wellbeing of metropolitan areas unless cities use more fully the complete panoply of local resources to mitigate disaster risks, according to a senior United Nations official.

More must be done to prepare pacific small islands for droughts, UN official warns

With thousands of people in the Marshall Islands without access to safe drinking water, the head of the United Nations office for disaster risk reduction today warned that Pacific small islands are threatened by drought and need to incorporate mitigation measures into their national planning and risk assessments.

Private sector must engage in disaster risk reduction to avoid economic losses – UN

The United Nations today warned that economic losses from disasters have spun out of control and called on the world’s business community to incorporate disaster risk management to their investment strategies to avoid further losses.

UN forum highlights need for disaster preparedness in Asia-Pacific region

Preparation, especially by investing in preparedness strategies, is essential to prevent and manage multiple shocks such as natural disasters and economic crises, experts gathered at a United Nations forum in Bangkok told participants today.

Arab States seek agreement on reducing disaster risk at UN-backed conference

Given the risks in Arab States of earthquakes, landslides and other disasters, hundreds of senior officials and civil society leaders are meeting at the first United Nations-backed conference for the region aimed at agreeing on a common position on disaster risk reduction.

Record economic losses from emergencies top $100 billion for third year, UN says

Thousands of people were killed in extreme disaster events in 2012 with more than $100 billion in property losses for a third year in a row, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said today, attributing the growing trend to increased exposure of industrial assets and private property to earthquakes, hurricanes and other extreme events.