This year the focus of the International Day for Disaster Reduction (13 October) is on some one billion people around the world who live with some form of disability. Representing one-fifth of the world’s population, persons living with disabilities have unique contributions, often overlooked, to help reduce the risk of disasters and build resilient societies and communities.
Several studies have shown that including the needs and voices of persons with disabilities at all stages of the disaster management process can significantly reduce vulnerability and increase the effectiveness of government response and recovery efforts.
IDDR 2013 intends to switch on and amplify this critical issue of including the needs of persons living with disabilities now and for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.
Despite an increasing worldwide focus on disaster risk reduction as opposed to mere disaster response, most city and related government agencies fail to adequately plan for – or include – persons with disabilities in their disaster management activities.
Let’s show the world that this can change!
The International Day for Disaster Reduction started in 1989 with the approval by the United Nations General Assembly. The UN General Assembly sees International Day as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Originally celebrated on the second Wednesday of October, the UN General Assembly decided in 2009 to designate October 13th as the date to celebrate IDDR.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction is a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of DRR. It’s also a day to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.
The 2013 theme for the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is part of a Step Up initiative started in 2011. The initiative focuses on a different group of partners every year leading up to the World Conference for Disaster Reduction in 2015.