Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

Climate change, environmental degradation, population growth, increased urbanization, unsustainable development in hazard-prone areas, risky technologies, and growing social and economic inequalities have all contributed to a dramatic increase in the impact of disaster events. DRR activities can be legislation, policies, strategies and practices that are developed and applied to minimise vulnerabilities and disaster risks.

Many natural disasters are cyclical and to some degree predictable. Communities can be prepared and made more resilient to these events, and their impacts can be mitigated and moderated through appropriately designed interventions and awareness about risks. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is any activity carried out by a village, community, aid agency or government that helps to prepare, mitigate, adapt and increase resilience towards the impact of disasters.

Disasters have the biggest impact on the poorest communities and the most vulnerable people. Children under 18 belongs to the most vulnerable group. In most disasters, more than half of those who are affected or die are children. Save the Children believes that although children are vulnerable, they have the potential to mitigate risks, improve preparedness and act as agents of change. Children and civil society need to be involved in DRR, preparedness and response plans, and in defining risks and the type of response they need to make their communities safer.

Save the Children has pioneered child-centred DRR. Child-centred DRR means putting children at the heart of DRR activities – recognising the specific vulnerabilities children face from disasters, which differ to those faced by adults, and ensuring children are appropriately planned for and addressed in DRR programs and policies.

Save the Children is putting pressure on governments and states to make sure they allocate adequate resources in national budgeting for Disaster Risk Reduction preparedness plans and child friendly responses in countries with recurrent disasters and protracted conflicts.

Photo: Save the Children

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