Ghana Commemorates International Day for Disaster Reduction

Oct 20, 2016

Some stakeholders at the International Day for Disaster Reduction

The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), annually celebrated on 13 October, was commemorated in Accra on 19 October to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention and preparedness. The event was organised by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) with support from UNDP, the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction under the implementation of the Sendai Framework.

The Sendai Framework is a 15-year (2015-2030) voluntary, non-building agreement which recognises that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government and the private sector.

The 2016 theme of IDDR “Live to Tell – Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality” was chosen to provide inspiration on how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters. The event attracted participants from government agencies, ministries, civil society groups and the private sector.

Christine Evans-Klock, United Nations Resident Coordinator, highlighted that “the Sendai Framework targets and objectives are re-affirmed in the Sustainable Development Agenda. Goal 11 for example, on inclusive resilient, safe and sustainable cities commits Governments to significantly reduce the number of deaths, hardships, and economic losses caused by disasters, and focus on protecting the poor and vulnerable by implementing holistic disaster risk management at all levels, particularly in cities.”

The UN Resident Coordinator also underlined the ongoing cooperation between the UN System in Ghana and its national partners, saying that the UN will continue to support its partners in Ghana in disaster prevention and response plans and in the process of implementing the SDGs on social, economic and environmental development.

Prosper Bani, the Minister of Interior, in a statement read by Mrs Adelaide Annor-Kumi, Chief Director at the Ministry of Interior, said: “As the frequency and destructive impact of disaster on our society continue to increase, we have no choice than to develop and enhance the capacities of individuals, organisations, and communities to effectively manage their risk. Vulnerability to disaster can only be minimised through effective Disaster Risk Reduction.”

Brigadier General Francis Vib-Sanziri, national coordinator of NADMO, said NADMO, in collaboration with other stakeholders, has made tremendous strides in reducing the risk to disaster and improving the resilience of vulnerable communities around the country.

Mr Amjad Abbashar, Head of Regional Bureau for Africa, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) gave a presentation on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk reduction as well as the impact of disasters at the global and regional levels.

He stressed the importance of inclusive action and of addressing gender issues in order to reduce disaster mortality, as well as the need to raise awareness and encourage a public discourse that promotes behavioural change toward disaster risk management.

In his statement on IDDR, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded: “We can replace material possessions, but we cannot replace people. Let us move from a culture of reaction to one of prevention and build resilience by reducing loss of life."

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