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Displacement is one of the most common and immediate impacts of disasters, affecting an average of 25 million people each year. Despite these far-reaching effects, displacement is not adequately addressed in the majority of national and local disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies.
The first deadline to achieve Target E of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is fast approaching: by 2020 a substantial increase is needed in the number of countries with national and local DRR strategies. As governments develop or revise their DRR strategies, now is the time to integrate provisions to reduce displacement risk, cope with its impacts, reduce the vulnerability of those displaced, ensure people find durable solutions, account for the impacts and support host communities.
To provide guidance on these matters, the Words into Action guidelines “Disaster displacement: How to reduce risk, address impacts and strengthen resilience” is now available in four languages—Arabic, English, French and Spanish. The development of the guide was a collaborative effort, led by the Norwegian Refugee Council and funded by the Government of Germany, brokered by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), in collaboration with the German Federal Foreign Office, the Platform on Disaster Displacement, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The guide provides background information and identifies DRR policies to reduce risk associated with displacement, address impacts and strengthen resilience. The WiA also contains a checklist to help users assess whether their DRR strategy is fully aligned with the Sendai Framework with regards to reducing disaster displacement risk.
In June at the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, the English and Spanish language versions of the guidelines were presented, launching a series of regional consultations. In July, the guide was shared at the Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to promote its use and gather additional inputs. At this regional platform, disaster displacement was prominently featured throughout, from UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres’ opening remarks mentioning the 9 million people displaced in the Asia Pacific region last year, to calls for action in the outcome documents. The Asia-Pacific region has identified reducing displacement risk as a priority.
In October, the Arabic translation of the guidelines was launched at the Africa-Arab Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Tunis, Tunisia, where participants discussed drought-induced displacement and policies to ensure no one is left behind in disaster risk reduction efforts, including displaced people and migrants. The inclusion of displacement in the outcome documents of the Africa-Arab Platform and the Asia Ministerial Conference reflects the advocacy efforts of PDD partners to raise the visibility of disaster displacement before and during the conferences.
The guide was shared this week at the European Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction in Rome in its four languages. By the end of 2018 the consultation period on the guidelines will close to address comments and include resources and case studies shared by reviewers. The final version of the Words into Action guidelines “Disaster displacement: How to reduce risk, address impacts and strengthen resilience” will be launched at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland 13-17 May 2019.
Download the Platform on Disaster Displacement’s Disaster Risk Reduction Policy Brief
Download the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
Download the Protection Agenda in English
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