Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
As they are in many other parts of the world, natural hazards such as drought, storms and floods are a regular part of life in Eastern and Southern Africa. But hazards become disasters only when people’s or a society’s capacities to cope within existing resources are overwhelmed. Disaster risk, therefore, is the potential loss in lives, health status, livelihoods, assets and services that may occur in a particular community or society. And it is the poor and marginalized who are most at risk.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) aims to identify, assess and reduce those risks. It targets the national, sub-national, and, in particular, the community level, where people often face risk and know best how to prevent or reduce it. DRR calls for governments, civil society, the private sector, and other actors to partner with the most vulnerable people to help prevent hazardous situations from evolving into disasters, mitigate the impact of hazards, and prepare for the worst.
UNICEF in action
UNICEF’s presence before, during and after an emergency provides unique opportunities for including disaster risk reduction into both the development and humanitarian contexts. Its core programmes in the areas of health; nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); education; child protection; and HIV/AIDS provide the ideal instruments to prepare for, prevent and mitigate disaster risk.
UNICEF-supported DRR programming is in-line with the international Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015), and is focused on four principal areas:
In Eastern and Southern Africa, such efforts now include, for example, support to the construction of safe school buildings, as well as emergency preparedness plans and disaster risk reduction in school curricula, developing child protection systems in areas prone to natural hazard and conflict, hygiene awareness, and disaster-related disease outbreak prevention.
Results for children