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Disaster risk reduction in developing countries

The European Union (EU) supports the integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) among the political objectives of developing countries. These countries are particularly vulnerable on account of their geographical and economic situation and their level of poverty. The analysis, mitigation and prevention of risk factors should make it possible to reduce the effects of natural or technological disasters.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 23 February 2009 – EU strategy for supporting disaster risk reduction in developing countries [COM(2009) 84 final - Not published in the Official Journal].


SUMMARY

This strategy contributes to disaster risk reduction (DRR) in respect of natural or technological disasters in developing countries and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). Due to the socio-economic vulnerability of these countries, climate hazards affect their sustainable development and the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).

This strategy is part of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 introduced via the United Nations’ International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). It is to be linked with climate change adaptation strategies and action to prevent and respond to man-made crises.

Priority areas for intervention

The Commission supports the inclusion of DRR as a priority of national and local development plans. The introduction of the strategy requires an appropriate institutional framework, especially within national platforms, and adequate financial resources. DRR is also a priority of the political dialogue between the European Union (EU) and developing countries. In this respect, the EU supports the launch in 2009 of the 2nd Global Platform for DRR.

Natural disasters have many causes. The management of underlying risk factors therefore requires a global and intersectoral analysis of local situations.

Action plans should be drawn up on the basis of effective risk monitoring and assessment systems and early warning systems. Investments should foster the development of knowledge and risk management capacity, in particular through research and development and the production of statistics. In addition, there should be an exchange of best practice between the countries and communities concerned.

DRR awareness and education campaigns are an essential component of the strategy. Information should be available to the people most at risk.

Emergency and disaster response mechanisms should be designed in such a way as to link development programmes to humanitarian aid programmes. Similarly, disaster prevention plans should be linked to post-disaster recovery plans. The EU supports the introduction of affordable insurance, risk sharing and transfer mechanisms.

International cooperation

The EU will introduce the strategy in the spirit of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness.

This commitment requires coordination between financial backers, donors, governments, regional and international organisations and non-governmental organisations.

Implementation mechanisms

Political dialogue on DRR will be monitored within a Steering Group comprising representatives of Member States and the Commission. It will support the creation of fora for dialogue between the various actors involved, and of national and regional exchange networks. An action plan will be presented in 2009, followed by an assessment in 2011.

Funding instruments

Funds are allocated under the European Development Fund (EDF) and the financial instruments of the 2007-2013 programming period. This Communication provides a framework for the coordination of these instruments.

The Commission supports the integration of DRR with the 7th Research and Development Framework Programme (RDFP), and the use of innovative funding (in the field of tackling climate change in particular).

Context

This strategy contributes to reinforcing the European Union’s response capacity response capacity in the event of disasters and crises in Non-EU Member Countries. It is based on the report from the High Representative and the Commission on climate change and international security.

Last updated: 11.05.2009
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