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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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

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In FYR Macedonia, early warning for disasters only a swipe away

In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a UNDP-supported mobile application helped reduce the risk of suffering and damage during recent flooding. “Three days of heavy rain flooded hundreds of homes around here. We were cut off for two days and without drinking water, but at least we were ablemore

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Nepal: Bamboo keeps villagers dry

“When my village floods, which it does almost annually, we never know how bad it will get. Some people lose their whole house, most will lose some crops and everyone will be affected in some way,” says 32 year-old Ms. Sita Gaire, of Shivamandir village in Southern Nepal. Mother of two Gaire lives imore

Projects and Initiatives

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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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Climate Risk Management--Technical Assistance Support Project

While the precise long-term impacts of climate change are difficult to define, one thing is clear: changing climate patterns will have significant impacts on countries and communities, many of which are already facing serious development challenges. UNDP’s Climate Risk Management- Technical Assistamore

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Global Risk Identification Programme

  Analyzing and understanding disaster risk is a critical first step in the process of reducing that risk. UNDP provides advice and support to disaster prone developing countries through risk management programmes, so that governments are better able to understand, predict and anticipate disastmore

Thematic Briefs