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Issues Brief 8 - Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Building
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
Droughts are threatening food security in West Africa; sea level rise might take away the livelihoods of Small Island Developing States (SIDS); flash floods and mudslides inflict death and destruction on informal settlements in cities of a number of developing countries; severe heat waves have swept across Europe and Russia in recent years; and strong hurricanes have caused large economic losses in the USA and the Caribbean. Environmental degradation and climate change contribute to the increasing occurrence of disasters linked to natural hazards. No country is immune, regardless of the level of economic and social development. However, the vulnerability of communities and societies to disasters caused by natural hazards is closely and inversely related to the level of social and economic development. Sound disaster risk management has been recognised as an area deserving greater attention on the global sustainable development agenda.
This brief aims at providing an overview of the existing international commitments in the area of disaster risk reduction and resilience building looking into progress of implementation, remaining gaps and proposed goals within the context of sustainable development, with a view to facilitating constructive discussion around the issue in the course of the preparation for the UNCSD (Rio+20).