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African Union launches key continental framework towards enhancing disaster resilience in Africa

Non-Aligned Movement not only articulates the political and economic interests of the developing world but has also articulated its principled stand on environmental issues. NAM has called for disaster risk reduction and the building of resilience to disasters to be addressed with a renewed sense of urgency in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. NAM has emphasized the responsibility of all States to undertake disaster risk reduction, including through preparedness, as well as response and early recovery efforts, in order to minimize the impact of natural disasters and build resilience towards natural disasters, and recognized the importance of international cooperation in support of the efforts of affected countries which may have limited capacities and resources in this regard. NAM has called for relevant subregional, regional and international organizations to commit to adequate, timely and predictable resources for disaster risk reduction in order to enhance the resilience of cities and communities to disasters, according to their own circumstances and capacities.

The African continent is most vulnerable to disaster risk. Over the past two decades, more than 1,100 disasters in Africa have killed 46,000 people and affected as many as 337 million lives. The African Union (AU, a continental union consisting of 55 African countries, has taken the lead in the formulation of a continental framework towards enhancing disaster resilience in Africa. On October 13, 2022 – which also marked the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction – the AU launched the Africa Institutional and Operational Framework for Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems and Early Action and COVID-19 Recovery Framework for Africa. The event was hosted by the government of Mozambique and organised by the AU Commission and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). The overall objective of the commemoration of the 2022 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, as well as, the launching of DRR Frameworks was to reinforce advocacy on disaster risk reduction in Africa and give a clear indication of the AU political commitment to strengthening multi-hazard early warning systems for early action.

The frameworks were launched by Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique who is also the African Union Champion of Disaster Risk Management (DRM). The President of Mozambique assumed this responsibility during the 35th Assembly of the Union, held from 5-6 February 2022. During the launch of the frameworks, Mozambique President Nyusi made a call for all stakeholders to enhance cooperation to mitigate the adverse effects climate-induced disasters. He also highlighted about his participation at the upcoming Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27). “We shall be taking a package of climate resilience to further strengthen our call for enhanced disaster preparedness in Africa. As it is, every African should be covered by an effective early warning system,” he stated.

The United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori raised the concern that countries with limited early warning coverage have disaster mortality that is eight times higher than countries with wide coverage. And in Africa, unfortunately, only around 40% of countries have an early warning system. However, she expressed optimism and underlined the importance of the AMHEWAS programme as being instrumental in strengthening continental, regional and national capacities to collect and analyze risk data.

The Africa Institutional Framework for Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action was developed with support from Sweden and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Sahel Resilience Project. The operationalization of the AMHEWAS programme is supported by the government of Italy and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) with technical support from the CIMA Research Foundation. The COVID-19 Recovery Framework was developed in a process co-led by AU Commission and UNDP. The AMHEWAS Programme strengthens continental, regional and national capacities to collect, exchange and analyse data relevant to multi-disaster and impact-based early warning systems and cross-border disaster risk management in Africa.

Photo Credit : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Source_d%27eau_de_FUNU_%C3%A0_Bukavu_au_Sud-Kivu_en_RDC.jpg


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