Act Now, Save Later: new UN social media campaign launched

02 Jul 2012

imageThe new animated video clip 'Act Now, Save Later' calls for more funding for disaster preparedness

Each dollar invested in disaster preparedness, saves seven dollars in recovery

New York— A new social media campaign launched by two United Nations bodies calls on member states to boost funding for disaster preparedness in order to significantly reduce the often devastating economic impact that floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters have particularly on developing nations.

The Act Now, Save Later campaign– a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – sheds light the exorbitant cost of recovery assistance following natural disasters, and urges wealthy nations to spend now in order to save later. 

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the stark economic and human costs of natural disasters.  Not only have natural disasters killed more than a million people and affected over a quarter of the global population since 2000; they have also cost the world upwards of US$1 trillion. 

“Investing in preparedness saves thousands of lives and billions of dollars later,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator.

The campaign’s animated video - released today – draws attention to the fact that every single dollar of aid spent on preventing and mitigating disasters saves an average of seven dollars in humanitarian disaster response.  The video – which features colorful imagery produced by New York-based company Ataboy – also calls on the global community to help raise awareness of disaster prevention needs by sharing the video via social media platforms, for example by using the hashtag #actnow on Twitter.

The video launch takes place one day before high level delegates from 55 countries meet in Sendai City, Japan at the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction on 3 and 4 July to determine a set of principles to prevent and mitigate the impact of disasters worldwide. 

“We can’t prevent disasters, but preparedness can help prevent the human tragedies they cause,” said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Currently, the international community spends only 1% of aid on disaster preparedness, despite it being an important investment against natural hazards.  Not only does it provide the humanitarian community with valuable time when disasters strike, but it gives vulnerable people a buffer against repeated crises, which can push them further into poverty.  

Join the campaign: www.actnowsavelater.org | use #actnow in your tweets.

Find out more about the upcoming World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction here.

Read more information about UNDP- supported disaster risk management activities here.

Find out more about OCHA here.