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Joint press release: National Consultation with Children and Youth on Disaster Risk Reduction

©Reynald Ramirez/World Vision
The National Consultation with Children and Youth on Disaster Risk Reduction provided children with a conducive platform to share their thoughts and issues on improving disaster risk reduction involving the youth.

MANILA, 18 June 2018—Around 50 children from all over the Philippines gathered to discuss the important role of Filipino youth in mitigating disasters and promoting resilience. UN children’s agency UNICEF and World Vision organized the National Consultation with Children and Youth on Disaster Risk Reduction to gather youth voices for the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR)’s 8th year to be held in Ulaanbatar, Mongolia.

“It is undeniable that children are the most vulnerable during disasters and emergencies. If we don’t involve them to be resilient and more proactive, all our DRR initiatives could only go so far. Youth participation is pivotal in ensuring our efforts are adaptive to their context and capacity to mitigate disaster risks,” World Vision’s National Director Rommel Fuerte says.

The workshop gave the young participants an opportunity to learn the Sendai Framework of Action, a global agreement comprised of 7 targets which aim to collectively track and reduce the loss of lives and increase national disaster resilience among participating countries, including the Philippines, by 2030.

©Reynald Ramirez/World Vision
Creative presentations of children participants of the National Consultation with Children and Youth on Disaster Risk Reduction expressed children’s issues and proposed solutions on disaster risk reduction.

“Children typically represent 50 to 60 per cent of those affected by disasters, whether through loss of life or from diseases related to malnutrition and poor water and sanitation. Disasters also disrupt education and can cause psychological distress. Knowing how children are affected by disasters, and getting their ideas on how to prevent and mitigate the adverse impacts of these disasters is an important area of UNICEF’s work,” Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative says.

At the end of the workshop, the children presented a creative unified statement calling leaders and concerned groups for the deliberate involvement of children in the Disaster Risk Reduction agenda. They asked key government agencies, including the National DRRM Council, Office of Civil Defense, and the National Youth Commission to document children affected by disasters, account the economic impact of disasters to children, raise awareness on policies and campaigns promoting DRR, allocate budget for child-focused DRR activities, engage children in the local DRR councils, and in planning and mapping assessments and implementation.

“I feel like we are finally breaking the notion that children and youth are just children and youth. We are finally speaking our voices and we’re finally gaining more trust from the government. As children and youth, we are efficient and effective agents of change,” says Angela Naco, 18, one of the youth participants.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

About World Vision
World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. In the Philippines, it focuses on improving the children’s well-being through community-based programs on promoting education, health and nutrition, economic development, child protection, and disaster risk reduction.

For more information, please contact:

Marge Francia, UNICEF Philippines Communication Officer, +63 917 858 9447, mfrancia@unicef.org

Genesis Jeff D. Lamigo, "G-JEFF", World Vision Philippines Media and Communications Manager, +639175848212; (02)3747618 to 28 loc 203, gjeff_lamigo@wvi.org | genesisanne@yahoo.com

 

 
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