Brussels, 13 October 2020/OACPS: The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) was launched to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and enhanced knowledge to   prevent and reduce the risks of disasters. As the world collectively fights the COVID-19 pandemic, the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), joins the global community to implement comprehensive strategies to prepare for and respond to the pandemic that is affecting countries worldwide, including countries of the OACPS.

As we face the daily challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, the OACPS stands in sincere solidarity with the global community’s aspirations to achieve the targets of the Sendai Framework 2015 – 2030; with this year’s intention being to: “Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020”.

The OACPS is working with its Members, to build enhanced resilience and consolidated adaptation to climate change and disaster risks. In particular with respect to health preparedness in environmentally vulnerable countries, through the effective implementation of comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programmes. The Sendai Framework aspiration will only be achieved through the sustained implementation of integrated and inclusive measures to prevent and reduce hazard exposure and vulnerability to disasters. In this regard, the OACPS Secretariat’s mandate fully embraces the Sendai Framework’s goal to reduce existing disaster risks and prevent new risks from emerging.

At the same time that the Member States of the OACPS are battling the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also dealing with disasters from extreme natural hazard risk events such as the onslaught of locusts and floods in East Africa, a severe hurricane season in the Caribbean and extreme weather incidences linked to climate change throughout the regions of the OACPS.

We are committed to strengthen coordination and dialogue amongst the 79 countries in all international fora. We will continue to support positive initiatives within our Member States and regions and at the international levels, to share and showcase lessons and best practices that have enabled us to reduce the impacts from disaster risk events that have affected the lives, livelihoods and wellbeing of our countries and communities that make up the OACPS.

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