credit: Unicef/2016/Sokhin

 Over the past decade, more than 700,000 people lost their lives and over 1.4 million were injured as a result of disasters, amplified by a changing climate and rapidly growing exposure to disaster risk. In 2015 alone, close to 20 million people were displaced by natural hazards. Reducing disaster risk is fundamental to protecting development gains and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015, aims to protect peoples’ lives and livelihoods, and to prevent losses resulting from disasters over the next 15 years. These objectives are re-affirmed under Goal 11 of the SDGs, and are also critical for implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Responding to the need for a risk-informed and integrated approach to implementing the Sendai Framework and the broader 2030 Agenda, CEB adopted a revised “UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience” in April 2016. The Plan, developed under the leadership of UNISDR, commits the UN system to: 1) Strengthen system-wide coherence in support of the Sendai Framework and other agreements, through a risk-informed and integrated approach; 2) build UN system capacity to deliver coordinated, high-quality support to countries on disaster risk reduction; and 3) maintain disaster risk reduction as a strategic priority for UN organizations.

The revised Plan of Action builds the original plan adopted by CEB in April 2013, which advanced system-wide action in support of the 2005 – 2015 Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). Following the adoption of a successor framework to the HFA and the 2030 Agenda, the Plan of Action was revised in response to the shifting focus, wider scope and people-centred approach of those ground-breaking texts.