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International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction 2014

International day for natural disaster reduction 2014 theme is "older people and disasters", 2013 theme is "Living with Disability & Disasters" and 2012 theme is "Women and Girls: the Visible Force of Resilience"".

When and How it was Formed

On 22 December 1989, the General Assembly assigned the 15th October, 2014 as “International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction”. The International Day was announced to be observed annually during International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, 1990-1999.

In 2001, the General Assembly decided to maintain the observance the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction on the second Wednesday of October as decided in the year 1989, as the paradigm to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and alertness.

Background

Many people across the world have lost their lives, homes or access to basic facilities, such as hospitals, electricity due to natural disasters, including earthquakes, droughts, tsunamis, heavy flooding, sky bursting, hurricanes or cyclones. Some of these disasters have caused grave economic damages also to some countries. The UN acknowledges that education; information exchanges and training are effective ways to help people become better armed in combating natural disasters.

Symbols

The UN logo often represents marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a manifestation of a world map (excluding Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed branches of the olive tree. The olive branches represent peace and the world map displays the concerning areas to the UN to achieve its target, peace and security.

Objectives

The objective of observing International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction is to sensitize the social and financial communities and organization on their important role in reducing disaster risk, and to increase awareness in the disaster and risk management community of the utility of existing financial tools and safety nets to mitigate the vulnerability of disaster-prone populations.

Hazards are a major risk for the poor, who are already the most vulnerable in society; the destruction of property and lives enhances their downward cycle of poverty. The recent tsunami and earthquakes in the Indian Ocean are a tragic example of disaster vulnerability and how communities can be left to extreme poverty and mismanagement within a few hours.

To achieve the Millennium Developments Goals and mitigate poverty before 2015 we must

  • Assess and advocate the contribution of micro finance and micro credit to the MDGs
  • Enhance public awareness regarding micro finance and micro credit which are deciding factors of the development equation
  • Promote inclusive financial industries
  • Support constant access to financial services, and
  • Encourage innovation and new associations by promoting and endorsing strategic partnerships to establish and disseminate the outreach and success of micro credit and micro finance.

Events and Activities Involved

Activities for the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction usually include media announcements about conducting of campaigns on the day's theme. Governments and communities also participate in the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction through different activities such as drawing, essay, drama or photography competitions that emphasis on making people aware of natural disaster reduction and catapulting their preparedness for such situations. Other activities include: community tree planting; fairs and seminars; conferences and street parades.

Micro Credit/Finance a Useful Tool

Micro credit has proven its significance in several countries as a weapon against poverty and disaster. With the help of micro credit, people with low incomes can earn more and better protect themselves against untoward setbacks and losses. Micro credit and micro finance are not yet fully utilized in general, as tools for mitigating disaster impacts, but some concrete experiments in India and Bangladesh have shown their significance and highlight the need to explore further these aspects of opportunities. The use of micro finance for disaster risk management is still to an extent experimental, but communities should explore its various multifarious approaches and impacts in terms of poverty reduction.

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) are working hand in hand and organizing an array of events throughout the world.

ISDR Will Contribute to the Campaign in Following Manners

  • Encourage partners and experts to redefine the available safety clutched to address vulnerability and poverty reduction, and look for efficient new techniques that can reduce the impact of disasters.
  • Invite national platforms and institutes for disaster reduction and other local and national counterparts to discuss and conduct programs of social and economic safety nets for the poor to enhance their resilience and recovery potential to hazards.
  • Promote national and local roundtables with
    • micro-finance bodies,
    • commercial banks,
    • insurance companies,
    • CBOs,
    • NGOs
    • Disaster reduction experts
  • Assemble good practice and experiences
  • Invite decision-makers and NGOs engaged in recovery measures for the earthquakes and Indian Ocean tsunami to develop efficient for long-term disaster risk reduction.

We need to prepare ourselves to brave the hazards of the natural calamity that is, no doubt out of our control till date, but we can at least prepare and equip ourselves to the best of our ability and potential utilizing science and techniques of modern world!

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