Regional disaster conference ends with commitments to step up disaster work

The Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022 has wrapped up in Brisbane, with fresh commitments to step up work so communities can prepare for, take early action and reduce the impact of disasters.

This week’s conference, convened by the United Nations and hosted by the Australian Government was attended by more than 3000 people from across Asia and the Pacific including governments, international and national organisations and civil society.

International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, as an official partner, has issued an action statement committing to accelerating work to meet the Sendai Framework in the Asia Pacific.

Australian Red Cross Head of Emergency Services Andrew Coghlan said while there was widespread agreement about the way forward in the face of increasing climate-fuelled disasters, Red Cross will continue to press for accelerated action and spending to reduce disaster risks, and for the very communities which are hit hardest to be at the centre of decisions about coping with them.

“And we’ll continue to press for greater spending on the non-structural measures such as community-based resilience and early warning systems, as well as the structural measures like levies and sea walls,” he said.

Head of ARC’s International Technical Services Veronica Bell said the organisation will amplify the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’s four key asks:

1. Prioritize the most vulnerable: Recognize the humanitarian impacts of the climate crisis, prioritize support for those facing most vulnerability, focus on protection and inclusion of all in laws, policies, and plans.

2. Promote locally-led disaster response and resilience action: Ensure meaningful engagement and participation, co-design with communities, adopt and implement principles for locally-led action.

3. Increase the amount and accessibility of climate and DRR finance: Increase attention and finance for adaptation and resilience as well as Loss and Damage, prioritize funding for the countries and communities facing the most vulnerability, including fragile and conflict-affected countries and communities, and make finance more locally accessible

4. Scale up effective DRR action: Strengthen domestic climate and disaster regulatory frameworks, increase investment in multi-hazard integrated risk management, make action more anticipatory and innovative, develop heatwave action plans and use nature-based solutions for DRR.

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