In depth


Through years of cooperation, UNDP has established strategic partnerships with key members of the National Committee for Disaster Reduction (NCDR), an inter-governmental mechanism consisting of more than 30 ministries.  

Since 2008, China has seen a series of massive disasters. An example is the Lushan earthquake, which hit in April 2013. UNDP responded immediately by mobilising resources to support rapid relief actions, coordination, rapid assessment and early recovery planning. At the request of the Government, UNDP further implemented an umbrella programme to assist post-disaster early recovery and reconstruction, offering targeted support to rebuilding efforts of the poor and most vulnerable populations.  

At present there are three areas within the Crisis Prevention & Recovery portfolio: Relief and Early Recovery, Disaster Risk Reduction, and South-South Cooperation on Disaster Management.

Relief and Early Recovery

UNDP mobilises and delivers relief and rescue efforts, for example in response to the Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008, Yushu Earthquake and Zhouqu massive landslide in 2010, and Lushan Earthquake in 2013. UNDP also works together with national disaster reduction authorities to see what lessons can be learned from each case to be better prepared in the future.

We also work on early recovery initiatives to ensure that communities affected by disasters can get back on their feet as soon as possible. UNDP has partnerships with various government agencies including MOFCOM, the State Council Leading Group on Poverty Alleviation (LGOP), MOCA and the National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC), and other actors including the All China Women’s Federation to run projects to train and prepare communities for swifter recovery.

As a UN agency, UNDP is also well-placed to draw on international support for disaster relief efforts. Most recently, the UN Appeal for Post-Wenchuan Early Recovery Support saw UNDP receive pledges worth nearly USD 4 million from the governments of Canada, Norway and Saudi Arabia, and a further USD 1 million from the Global Environment Facility. These funds are spent on shelters, livelihood support, environmental issues and improving infrastructural resilience.

Disaster Risk Reduction

Building upon previous disaster response and rehabilitation support in China, UNDP cooperates with national and local governments in China to make development more resilient. Our Umbrella Programme on Disaster Risk Management aims to reduce the vulnerabilities of urban and rural communities and strengthen their abilities in coping with disasters, by improving risk-conscious decision-making through policy advocacy and pilot projects.

The Umbrella programme contains several initiatives, focusing on different priority areas for risk-reduction work. At present, projects are currently running on climate change adaptation in arid areas, integrated disaster risk management in ecological restoration, flood risk management in mountainous areas and strengthening monitoring and early warning for geological disasters.

South-South Cooperation in Disaster Management

UNDP also leverages on its international reach to help China trade knowledge and experience within the field of disaster management with other developing nations for mutual benefit. At present through UNDP China is participating in a project on sharing and learning in community-based disaster management in Asia, which also provides strong links between China and the UK.

Recently, China has also sent consultants to Nepal to assist with urban search and rescue training, facilitated by UNDP within UNDP Nepal’s Crisis Prevention & Recovery portfolio. UNDP also facilitates great interaction between China and Africa within the disaster management arena. In recognition of the shared needs and interests between China and African countries, UNDP China and UNDP Dryland Development Center in Kenya co-implement a project that aims at compiling existing knowledge and experiences in drought preparedness and adaptation, and facilitate exchange and mutual learning between China and Africa countries in related areas.