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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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 i more

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Reducing the risk of disaster in Armenia

Hovhannes Arakelyan has witnessed hundreds of floods in his remote village of Sipanik, in Western Armenia. "I have seen smashed roads, houses, and crops, and disasters used to diminish our hope for a better life," says the 72-year-old. Sipanik’s regular inundation when the Hrazdan River fl more

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Survivors of Pakistan's floods lay foundations for new homes

Struggling to help her husband with a long-term respiratory illness when their wooden house was swept away by catastrophic flooding in the north of Pakistan, Gul Numa, over 80 years old, survived the initial weeks of August in a makeshift camp. Numa and her husband, Sayed Qalandar Shah, 90, were more

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Bangladesh: Disaster Risk Reduction as Development

A country of exceptional vulnerability to natural hazards Bangladesh has a long history of natural disasters. Between 1980 and 2008, it experienced 219 natural disasters, causing over US$16 billion in total damage. The predicted effects of climate change will only compound these impacts. UNDP has more

Projects and Initiatives

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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 disast more

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Bangladesh: Disaster Risk Reduction as Development

A country of exceptional vulnerability to natural hazards Bangladesh has a long history of natural disasters. Between 1980 and 2008, it experienced 219 natural disasters, causing over US$16 billion in total damage. The predicted effects of climate change will only compound these impacts. UNDP has more

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From disaster relief to risk reduction

Armenia is prone to natural disasters. Eight out of every 10 persons in the country face the probability of experiencing a natural disaster such as an earthquake, landslide or flooding. The country incurs $33 million in damage from such disasters every year. But thanks to recent efforts, Armenia has more

Thematic Briefs