Disaster Risk Reduction

About disaster risk reduction

Disasters put hard won development achievements at risk, reversing economic growth and progress towards the elimination of poverty; cause environmental damage; and result in human suffering. Investing in disaster preparedness before a natural hazard occurs reduces the need for humanitarian action. Every dollar spent on preparing for disasters saves around seven dollars in economic losses.

Our Goals

UNDP helps develop the capacity of governments in over 60 countries to respond to disasters and mitigate the risk they pose. UNDP is guiding policy; training communities and first responders; helping planners; and integrating disaster risk reduction strategies into national development plans.

Disaster recovery activities are often an opportunity to integrate improved disaster resilience into communities and build back better. Emergency employment schemes to rebuild a bridge are an opportunity to build something that will resist future earthquakes or floods; debris that is removed can be used to strengthen embankments to prevent landslides or flooding.UNDP spends an average of over US$ 150 million annually to increase resilience to natural hazards.

Our stories

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Managing droughts and floods in Azerbaijan

Mehemmed Veliyev, a 45-year-old farmer living in Abrikh Village in Azerbaijan, had a good life. He had hectares of land where he grew fruit and hazelnut. But the environment he depended upon turned on him one day in 2008, when a flash flood came from the mountains and destroyed his land. For Veliyevmore

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Stronger roots: Growing resilient forests in Samoa

If you look beyond the coral reefs and blue lagoons of Samoa, you will see mountain ranges rising up from within the islands, carpeted in thick forest. Samoa’s forests, which cover around 60 percent of the land, play a critical role in the country’s diverse ecosystem. Tree roots serve to prevent soimore

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Dominican Republic: Ready to act when faced with disaster

In Puerto Plata, a city of high seismic risk and 150,000 inhabitants, an estimated 70 percent of buildings are precarious in structure. Most of these buildings are inhabited by poor families who cannot afford to pay for professional construction, and therefore have no option but to use the services more

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Quake awareness in Uzbekistan given a shake-up

Like many of his neighbours in Uzbekistan’s capital of Tashkent, Abdugani Rakhimov has a clear memory of the 1966 earthquake that destroyed more than 78,000 homes and left 300,000 citizens homeless:  “It was the sound of shaking windows that woke us up. We realised it was an earthquake and ran more

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Tajikistan: Grinding gravel reduces flooding and creates new jobs

In 2010, severe flooding killed more than a dozen people and destroyed 500 homes in Kulyab city, south-western Tajikistan. “We lost all our belongings, including hopes for a better future as a result of the flood,” says local resident Saidmuhiddin Sharipov, whose home was severely damaged because omore

Projects and Initiatives

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Haiti: From recovery to sustainable development

On 12th January 2010 a devastating earthquake hit Haiti. More than 200,000 people were killed, 1.5 million were displaced, and over 300,000 buildings were destroyed in the 7.0 magnitude quake. Since then, Haiti has successfully pulled through the humanitarian recovery phase and seen significant socimore

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Haiti: From recovery to sustainable development

On 12th January 2010 a devastating earthquake hit Haiti. More than 200,000 people were killed, 1.5 million were displaced, and over 300,000 buildings were destroyed in the 7.0 magnitude quake. Since then, Haiti has successfully pulled through the humanitarian recovery phase and seen significant socimore

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Responding to the Balkan Floods

In mid May 2014, a low pressure system referred to locally as Cyclone Tamara caused the heaviest rainfall in more than a century across much of the Balkan region. Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia have been heavily affected by both flooding and over 3,000 landslides. Nearly 50 people have been killmore

Thematic Briefs