International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2012
12 October, 2012
An elementary pupil presents the risk plan developed by her disaster risk reduction school group in Guinobatan Albay, Philippines. Photo: Nancy Obias / Save the Children
International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is observed worldwide on 13 October each year. The day celebrates the work and achievements of governments, organisations, communities and individuals in reducing the risk of natural disaster and encourages people and governments to build disaster resilient communities and nations. This year’s theme for International Day for Disaster Reduction is ‘Women and Girls’.
AusAID celebrated this event on 10 October 2012, by holding a morning tea reception with guest speakers from AusAID (Catherine Walker, First Assistant Director General for the Humanitarian and Stabilisation Division), Oxfam (Wayne Gum, East Asia Program Impact Coordinator) and a personal story by Trisha Silvers (Former Young Australian of the Year in 2006 and survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami). The speakers talked about different aspects of disaster risk reduction from the perspective of governments, NGOs and individuals. AusAID also held a disaster risk reduction photo competition and awarded the winners at the morning tea reception.
According to the United Nations, over the past twenty years natural disasters have affected 4.4 billion people, claimed 1.3 million lives and caused $2 trillion in economic losses. Disasters disproportionately affect the poor (especially women)—more than 95 per cent of people killed by natural disasters are in developing countries.
According to Foreign Minister Bob Carr, ‘Investing in disaster risk reduction saves lives, livelihoods and assets. It also helps reduce the costs of responding to disasters and rebuilding after them’.
Since 1992, Australia has incurred US$28 billion in damages from floods, droughts, tropical cyclones and bushfires. This makes us the ninth most prone country to natural disasters.
Through the Australian aid program, our expertise in disaster risk management can be used to save lives in developing nations.
Working closely with regional organisations and governments across the Pacific, South and Southeast Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, Australia is helping governments and communities to better understand who and what are at risk from disasters and how to reduce that risk.–
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Last Reviewed: 12 October, 2012