Bangkok – June 23, 2014: As key leaders from Asia gather for the 6th Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (6th AMCDRR) in Bangkok, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling for greater commitments towards preventing and reducing the impacts of disasters on vulnerable communities. The IFRC will be encouraging governments and other stakeholders attending the AMCDRR to increase their engagement with ‘at-risk’ communities, local leaders and civil society to reduce risks and strengthen resilience.
Speaking on the opening day of the Conference, Jagan Chapagain, head of the IFRC’s Asia Pacific Zone, stressed the critical link between disasters and poverty eradication and the need to mainstream disaster risk reduction (DRR) into development planning.
“People’s vulnerability to disasters, crises and shocks are increasingly caused by a set of inter-related risks. We are hoping that the future global framework for action on disaster risk reduction will address a broader ‘community resilience’ agenda, that integrates disaster risk reduction together with public health, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation strategies”.
The IFRC will be calling for greater support and investment in Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies which play a unique humanitarian role as auxiliaries to their governments.
“As a grassroots network our priority is to strengthen our volunteer and community-based networks and promote inclusion”, said Jagan Chapagain. “We want to see greater attention given to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in society who are disproportionately affected by disasters – including women, children and migrants.”
The IFRC will also be drawing attention to pledges made at previous Global Platforms for DRR (including AMCDRR) which have not been fully delivered. Such commitments include the allocation of 10% of humanitarian relief funds to DRR and pledges to adopt stronger legal frameworks including disaster management laws that provide clear mandates and resources for national and local level institutions.
“Greater attention and investments must also be given to small and medium-scale disasters, which account for the vast majority of damage and losses in Asia”, says Jagan Chapagain. “These are ‘silent’ or ‘neglected’ disasters that occur almost on a daily basis. They hit vulnerable communities the hardest, they don’t make headlines in the media and they fail to attract sufficient government or donor assistance.”
Held every two years, the AMCDRR is the most important forum on Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia; bringing together governments, humanitarian agencies and other stakeholders to discuss the way forward in reducing disaster risk in the Asia region. The conference declaration will contribute towards shaping the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction (Hyogo Framework for Action 2 or HFA2), which will be decided at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Sendai, Japan in 2015.
The IFRC has a strong presence at the event including senior representatives of Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies from across Asia. The IFRC will play a prominent role in the conference agenda, including leading on Technical session 1 - Enhancing Resilience at Local Level, co-leading special sessions on School Safety and Children and Youth and convening side events on issues such as Disaster Laws and the Use of New technology for engaging at risk communities.
For further information please contact:
Linda Low: Communications and Advocacy Manager (Acting)
IFRC South-East Asia Regional Delegation
Tel: +66(0) 2661 8201, ext. 200
Jessica Sallabank: Media Relations
IFRC Southeast Asia Delegation.
Follow the IFRC on twitter: @Federation.