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Christian Aid calls on UN to empower disaster prone communities

11 March 2015 - This week (14-18 March) UN member states meet in Sendai, Japan, to negotiate a new global disaster risk reduction (DRR) plan which will aim to make vulnerable communities around the world more resilient to extreme weather events.

The agreement, being negotiated at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, will replace the Hyogo Framework for Action which was agreed in 2005 and ends this year.

Christian Aid believes there are three essential points that nations must agree in order for any deal in Sendai to be successful.

Firstly the world needs to ensure at-risk communities are put at the heart of the process because one of the weaknesses of the first Hyogo Framework is that it has failed to empower local communities to manage everyday risk.  In order to facilitate this Governments should allocate a portion of their DRR budget to local administrations so that community-led projects are ready to cope with disasters, reducing  the need for external humanitarian responses.

Secondly, in order for any outcome to have an impact it needs to set  ambitious, achievable and measurable national targets.

Finally, DRR needs to be embedded into all international development strategies. Global warming is only going to cause more erratic and unpredictable weather patterns  and policies across climate change, development and disaster relief need to be joined up in order to ensure communities are able to better withstand natural hazards.

Christian Aid’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, Jacopo Villani, said: “The commitment of governments and civil society organisations is essential to ensure that policies are translated into meaningful solutions and local communities are able to respond to recurring disasters independently. UN member states have a chance to make disaster-prone populations more resilient to natural hazards by empowering local communities, enhancing accountability and integrating DRR into relevant humanitarian and development policies.”

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For more information contact Joe Ware at jware@christian-aid.org. The 24 hour Christian Aid press duty phone is 07850 242950.


Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk

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