Ulaanbaatar-Kuala Lumpur, 7 July 2018 – This week, representatives from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including nineteen National Societies, have joined senior-level government delegations and experts at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR 2018) to exchange experience and chart the way forward to build resilience and reduce disaster risk across the Asia region.
The AMCDRR 2018 closed today with participating governments issuing the Ulaanbaatar Declaration which calls for greater accountability for disaster losses in Asia, the world’s most disaster-prone region. The Ulaanbaatar Declaration was adopted, and a two-year Action Plan agreed, to accelerate implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia. The Sendai Framework is the global plan adopted by UN member states in 2015 to reduce disasters.
The IFRC’s “Statement of Action”, sets out the collective commitments and actions that Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies across Asia will deliver according to the priority areas of the Sendai Framework. These include providing greater support to local actors to protect their lives and livelihoods and determine, lead and strengthen their own resilience, effective climate risk management, early action and preparedness.
One worrying development is disaster and displacement.
“In Asia Pacific, disasters and crises are forcing millions of people to flee their homes. The humanitarian challenges they encounter are enormous,” says Xavier Castellanos, IFRC Regional Director of Asia Pacific.
“In Ulaanbaatar, we have called upon governments and stakeholders to support activities that reduce displacement and address the drivers of displacement. It’s a welcomed step forward that the Ulaanbaatar Declaration and Action Plan now have stronger reference and committed actions to better address population displacement as part of disaster risk reduction.”
It is also well-known that that disasters impact differently based on gender, age and disability.
”The Red Cross Red Crescent is committed to work with partners throughout the region, advocating to governments to better integrate protection, gender and inclusion measures in disaster law frameworks to prevent and reduce the risks in disaster,” says Xavier Castellanos.
Another key area that sees improvement is the risk reduction in Mongolia that struck by the slow but disastrous dzud that can kill millions of livestock, as in 2016. As one-third of the population depend entirely on farming, the impact to the society and economy is grave.
Bolormaa Nordov, Secretary General of Mongolian Red Cross Society, experienced first-hand the impact of the dzud.
“Last winter, an innovation like forecast-based action and financing allowed us to make cash transfers to households at risk, well in advance before the dzud took hold. Many families made significant savings as they were able to buy fodder for their livestock at low prices before there were shortages in the market and prices escalated,” she says.
“In this way, we can ensure that we are ready for the next dzud, and although we will suffer losses, we will as a society recover faster and with less impact for our most vulnerable communities.”
IFRC Case studies
Read the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies ‘Case Studies’ in full here. In attendance at AMCDRR 2018 in Ulaanbaatar were senior representatives from the National Societies of Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, The Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America. Also youth leaders were present.
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