Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is aimed at preventing new and reducing existing disaster risk and managing residual risk, all of which contribute to strengthening resilience and therefore to the achievement of sustainable development. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) 4 was adopted by the United Nations (UN) Member States at the 3rd UN World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR)5 in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan and endorsed by the UN General Assembly. The aim of the Sendai Framework is to achieve ‘The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries’ by 2030 through progress monitored with indicators against seven global targets. These targets aim to reduce: (a) mortality, (b) the number of affected people, (c) economic losses, and (d) critical infrastructure damage; and increase; (e) the number of national and local disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies, (f) level of international cooperation, and (g) availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments.
Over the past decade, DRR in Africa has been guided by the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (ARSDRR) which was adopted by African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government in 2004. The implementation of the Strategy has been undertaken through the Programme of Action for the Implementation of the ARSDRR developed in 2005, subsequently extended2 in line with the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015.
The Nairobi Declaration on accelerating the path to achieving the goals and targets of the Programme of Action for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in Africa was adopted at the Eighth Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (AfRP) hosted by the Government of the Republic of Kenya, under the theme: “Towards Disaster Risk-Informed Development for a Resilient Africa in a COVID-19 Transformed World” Nairobi Declaration demonstrated the strong commitment to disaster risk reduction and resilience building across Africa. It recognizes the achievements Member States and other stakeholders have made in accordance with the Tunis Declaration issued in 2018 and demands action to progress the implementation of Sendai Framework in Africa. It may be mentioned here that the Tunis Declaration on accelerating the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction2015-2030 and the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction was adopted in 2018 and recognised the increasing vulnerability of island states of Africa, as well African states emerging from conflicts and disasters to climate change, and the impact of natural hazards on their economies and development and to committed to strengthen partnerships and cooperation for disaster risk reduction through enhancing regional, sub-regional and national coordination mechanisms.
African leaders committed to implementing the Nairobi Declaration at the 17th Session of the Africa Working Group for Disaster Risk Reduction (AWG-DRR) which took place in Maputo, Mozambique 16-18 March 2022. Delegates discussed ways to accelerate action towards implementing the Africa Programme of Action for the implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 in Africa (PoA). With 2030 fast approaching, the Matrix for the PoA’s implementation was also critically discussed, to enhance traction of actions by member states and regional economic communities (RECs). The specific objectives of the PoA are to: a) Strengthen coherence and integration between disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation, ecosystem management, conflict and fragility, and other development imperatives to contribute to the implementation and achievement of the goals and aspirations of the Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the New Urban Agenda and the outcomes of the World Humanitarian summit, including through related instruments, frameworks, programmes and processes adopted by African Union Policy Organs, RECs and Member States. b) Strengthen long-term capacities, including coordination mechanisms, at continental and regional levels to support the implementation of the ARSDRR and the Sendai Framework and to systematically contribute to building resilience to disasters, with special focus on the most vulnerable groups; c) Strengthen mechanisms, frameworks and capacities at national and sub-national/local levels for mainstreaming, implementing and coordinating gender-sensitive disaster risk reduction strategies and programmes that also address risk drivers, such as poverty, public health, climate change and variability, poorly managed urbanisation, conflict and migration, environmental degradation; d) Embed a holistic approach to systematically incorporate risk reduction measures into design and implementation of disaster preparedness, response and recovery programmes; e) Develop practical tools and mobilize resources to contribute to the implementation of DRR programmes and projects.
Photo Credit : https://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/8329004375