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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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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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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China: Building back better and greener

Before the devastating Wenchuan earthquake in southwestern China on 12 May 2008, 62-year-old Qing Liehua’s main source of income and food for his family was chicken farming. After the earthquake destroyed his home in Qinghe Village, Sichuan Province, however, he lost everything, including his chickemore

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Haitian women rebuild their lives one brick at a time

The main driving force for earthquake-damaged house rebuilding in Haiti is not the government, the private sector, NGOs or international organizations. Families and communities have been playing a vital role, taking the task to build back a more resilient country into their own hands—especially womemore

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Haitians on the pitch for recovery

Josiane Vesna is a resident of Bel Air, one of the most violent, poor, and garbage-filled zones in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Following the earthquake that devastated the country one year ago, Josiane, along with nearly 1000 other Haitians, was hired to rebuild six neighbourhoods, including her own. “Afmore

Projects and Initiatives

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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

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Preparing airports for disasters

Swamped officials, back-logged visa requests, mountains of lifesaving supplies and throngs of people with nowhere to go - in the face of disaster, most airports look very much alike. And especially for humanitarian relief workers, scenes of chaos and mayhem are all too familiar. Whether it's after Tmore

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Responding to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Locally known as Yolanda, Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on 8 November in the Philippines’ Eastern Samar province. With record winds and sea surges, the storm caused massive damage and casualties in 9 regions of the Philippines, affecting almost 15 million people and displacing 4 million. In the immmore

Thematic Briefs