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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Together, Sri Lankan communities build back with resilience

Kuventhini Josep Jeyaraj is a graduate teacher at the Komari Tamil Methodist School in southeastern Sri Lanka. She grew up in Komari, and when a disaster struck when she was a child, her family and her neighbors took shelter in schools—often overwhelming the buildings’ facilities and causing seriousmore

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Communities build resilience in Moldova

Since 2007, Svetlana Bivol has been the mayor of Marianca de Jos, a village in southern Moldova that sits in a valley where a small river flows. Its 600 residents mostly depend on subsistence agriculture. With few other livelihood options available, there is little margin for error. As is the case imore

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Bottom up disaster risk reduction in Kazakhstan

In the lead up to The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, set for Sendai, Japan in March, UNDP is reflecting on a decade of support to help countries achieve the goals of the Hyogo Framework for Action. Viktoriya Rotaru, a Russian instructor and native of Semey, Kazakhstan, sought more

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Following up on cyclone recovery in Bangladesh

On May 25th, 2009, Cyclone Aila struck the southwest coastal zone of Bangladesh, destroying Bipasha Rani Mondol’s house and badly damaging her family’s garment shop. “We didn’t get any warning about the tidal surge,” says 29-year-old Bipasha. “In half an hour’s time the water entered our village thrmore

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Mock drills prepare Kosovo* for earthquakes

As the earthquake alarm sounded, students at the Selami Hallaqi primary school in Gjilan/Gnjilane, Kosovo, scrambled to take cover, hiding under tables and in doorways. Once their teachers declared the environment safe enough to walk through, they led the students outside to wait for emergency servimore

Projects and Initiatives

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Responding to typhoons in the Philippines

UNDP’s has been working for several years with all levels of government and the people of the Philippines in preparing for disasters likeTyphoon Haiyan which made landfall on 8 November 2013. With record winds and sea surges, the storm caused massive damage and casualties in 9 regions of the Phmore

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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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From disaster relief to risk reduction in Albania

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 hasmore

Thematic Briefs