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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Women break ground to rebuild villages in Pakistan

Until last year, 21-year-old Shahzadi worked the land like most people in her remote, rural community in southern Pakistan. But today she’s breaking ground in a new field. Shahzadi, who lost her left arm in a childhood accident, has been helping to rebuild homes in Sindh province, which was devastat more

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Saving Ugandan coffee from the effects of climate change

In the village of Kok, about 240 km from Kampala, Uganda, Robert Toskin runs his hands through a bag of raw coffee beans. “Coffee is an important cash crop in this area," says the farmer. "People grow food for their own consumption, but the revenue from coffee production helps pay for thin 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 o more

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FYR Macedonia steps up emergency training

Silvana Abraseva is one of the 1,500 teachers in schools across the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia who helped to carry out evacuation drills to prepare students for earthquakes and fires. "Together we've trained more than 17,000 children on how to stay safe if there's an earthquake or fi more

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After Philippines typhoon, clean-up brings recovery

Julius Enriquez sifts through a mountain of rubble, picking out usable wood and other materials in the grounds of what used to be Cateel Central Elementary School, in Mindanao, The Philippines. “These wood scraps can be used to rebuild the damaged school where my child used to go,” he says. The scho more

Projects and Initiatives

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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 imm more

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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 T more

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Rebuilding Haiti

Haiti, four years later Since the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010 that killed more than 200 000 people, damaged or destroyed more than 300,000 buildings and left 1.5 million people displaced from their homes, UNDP has been working with the Haitian government to help communities to rebuild, more

Thematic Briefs