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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Haiti's rebuilding continues, one year after Hurricane Sandy

"I could hear the wind howling in the street and debris flying away,” says Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, speaking of the terrifying night one year ago when Hurricane Sandy hit Haiti, killing 60 people and affected 1.8 million. Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, who is director of the National Civil Protecti more

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One year after Sandy, solidarity and preparedness help Cuba rebuild

“I am one of the lucky ones. The damages to my own home were minimal; I have neighbors who lost everything,” says Maria Elena Valle Ortega, a resident of ‘30 de noviembre’, a neighborhood in Santiago de Cuba province in the south-east of the island, reflecting on the night Hurricane Sandy lashed the more

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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. “In February, 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 more

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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 chicke more

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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. “Af more

Projects and Initiatives

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Quake Awareness in Uzbekistan Given a Shake-Up

In Uzbekistan, a country sometimes prone to catastrophic seismic events, a UNDP project is raising awareness about the risk to ordinary people while strengthening emergency response capacity. In the country’s historic capital, Tashkent, memories of the 26 April 1966 earthquake, one of Uzbekistan’s more

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Floods in Pakistan

After three months of severe flooding across the country, a UNDP SURGE planning team was deployed to assist the UNDP Pakistan country office to realign its programmes to address emerging and urgent priorities, such as helping affected communities recover from the disaster. To help with the rollout o more

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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 Assista more

Thematic Briefs