Fiji: UN and Government assess needs in wake of ‘catastrophic’ Cyclone Winston

The United Nations has begun its assessment of the needs for international assistance to the islands of Fiji, hit by a powerful tropical cyclone that left at least 21 people dead and more than 8,000 people sheltering in evacuation centres over the weekend.

Science and technology can help save lives, livelihoods when disasters strike – senior UN official

The first-ever United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) gathering of scientists to discuss disaster risk management kicked off today in Geneva, Switzerland, seeking to map out a scientific and technological approach to the issue while addressing the importance of partnership.

Senior UN official points to science as ‘vital’ in managing disaster risk, promoting development

On the eve of the first-ever gathering of scientists to discuss disaster risk management, the head of the United Nations office tasked with synergizing disaster reduction activities emphasized today the importance of government leaders and decision makers’ attention to the role of science in lowering the exposure to extreme disaster events and promoting sustainable development.

Australian national takes the helm as new UN disaster risk reduction chief

Following his appointment by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Robert Glasser, an experienced leader and thinker on development issues, took up his new role this week as head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Special UN event stresses key role of water management in tackling challenges of climate change

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted a meeting on the links between water management and disaster risk reduction today, stressing that floods, droughts and cyclones have caused more than $1 trillion in damages and affected over four billion people since 1990.

Health and safety of women and children in disaster-prone areas ‘must be a priority,’ says UN relief wing

Disaster response specialists, including from the United Nations and other organizations, gathered in Suva, Fiji this week for the annual Pacific Humanitarian Partnership meeting, where the focus has been on high rates of preventable mortality and morbidity among women and children in the disaster-prone region.

Achieving sustainable development difficult in Asia-Pacific without tackling disaster risks, warns UN report

Asia and the Pacific, the most disaster-prone region of the world, has been struck by 1,625 disasters during the last 10 years amounting to over 40 per cent of the global total, thereby calling for a collective political commitment from the regions' leaders to mitigate risks posed by disasters, according to a new United Nations report.

Strong El Niño will ‘test’ disaster resilience in hazard-prone Pacific region, UN warns

Amid growing fears that the irregular climatic activities of El Niño will result in severe weather events across the hazard-prone region of small islands and atolls in the Pacific, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today addressed a gathering in Suva, Fiji, of disaster reduction and humanitarian response partners from across the region at a joint programme of events around regional resilience to disasters and emergency management.

‘Knowledge saves lives,’ UN stresses on International Day for Disaster Reduction

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the “indispensable” power of traditional, indigenous and local knowledge in his message on this year’s observance of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

Hurricane Katrina’s ‘true legacy’ was to spur disaster risk management – senior UN official

The top United Nations disaster resilience official today said on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that the ‘true legacy’ of the costliest United States hurricane disaster, which devastated New Orleans and claimed more than 1,800 lives, was to raise the bar for disaster risk management worldwide.