Countries must step up disaster reduction efforts, UN official says

As climate change exacerbates and compounds the effects of disasters, countries must improve their readiness to minimize damages, stressed the head of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

UN-backed partnership aims to use satellites to bolster global disaster response

The United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) today joined forces with a communications firm and a business organisation to employ satellites to bolster the global response to natural disasters.

UN humanitarian official urges action to address disasters

The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator today urged action on plans to cope with disasters as delegates from 120 nations meeting in Geneva wrapped up a conference which warned that some of the world’s greatest cities are at risk.

UN-backed forum on disaster reduction kicks off

Representatives of more than 100 governments converged in Geneva today to launch a new United Nations-chaired forum on disaster reduction that is expected to the major international consultative group on the issue.

Iran, UN agencies launch first regional seismic risk reduction centre

Three and half years after a massive earthquake killed more than 26,000 people in the ancient city of Bam, Iran, a regional centre to reduce the damage from such seismic threats was launched in the country today by the Government and the United Nations unit focussed on disaster mitigation.

UN agency trains communications experts for rapid global disaster response

For crises where minutes can make a difference between life and death, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has just graduated its first class of emergency telecommunications team leaders after an intensive two-week training course to ready them for rapid deployment to difficult and dangerous disaster zones.

Pushing ahead with global disaster early-warning system, UN convenes experts meeting

Pushing ahead with plans to mitigate the impact of natural disasters, from earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes to floods and wildfires, scientists and advisors from 20 specialized United Nations bodies began a two-day meeting today to decide how a people-centred early-warning system can be implemented worldwide.

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.