23 October 2012, Yogyakarta - As the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (5thAMCDRR) gets underway in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling on governments to commit more resources to support disaster risk reduction initiatives at the local level.
‘Reducing the threats that hazard prone communities face is one our foremost priorities’, explains Al Panico, the IFRC’s acting director in Asia Pacific. ‘We are urging governments to direct at least 5 to 10 per cent of annual local revenue into disaster risk reduction efforts.”
On its part, the IFRC’s Governing Board has committed 10% of future emergency appeals to strengthen disaster risk reduction programmes.
Studies suggest that, with the cost of disasters increasing, disaster risk reduction is often the most sustainable way to use funds. For every USD1 spent on prevention and risk reduction, USD10 - USD15 is saved in economic losses arising from disasters.
“Strengthening community resilience and reducing disaster risks are critical elements in promoting sustainable development. They must be part of the international development agenda beyond 2015, post-Hyogo Framework for Action and the Millennium Development Goals,” says Budi Adiputro, secretary general of the Indonesian Red Cross, which continues to be a key partner with the Indonesian government in creating safe environments for vulnerable communities.
At the 5th AMCDRR the IFRC is releasing a new report 'Understanding community resilience and programme factors that strengthen them’. The report captures learning from the humanitarian response to the Red Cross Red Crescent Indian Ocean Tsunami operation. It draws on first-hand discussions with community members in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand and the Maldives. The results reveal some key characteristics of resilience, as defined by communities themselves; Being well organised, having access to health care and other services, having power and transport services, economic opportunities, control over natural assets in their communities and strong partnerships with external actors.
"In many ways this is a ground-breaking study, we spoke with over 30 communities and captured the perspectives of ordinary people who are living with risk in their daily lives. Their views have now shaped our priority areas for action," explains Al Panico.
More than 1,100 participants from 97 countries representing government, academia, the private sector, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the United Nations, civil society and the media, are participating at the 5th AMCDRR. The Red Cross Red Crescent will be represented by delegation of over 50 participants.
Notes for editors: The 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is an important forum for governments to commit to a shared responsibility of continuing to reduce the loss in lives and social, economic and environmental assets from disasters, while continuing the fight against poverty and sustainable development beyond the 2005-2015 Hyogo Framework for Action and the 2000-2015 Millennium Development Goals.
'Understanding community resilience and programme factors that strengthen them’ can be viewed here (PDF)
To view a video on the Red Cross Red Crescent’s disaster risk reduction initiatives in Asia Pacific, please visit: Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia Pacific.
For more information, or to set up interviews, please contact:
In Yogyakarta, Indonesia:
Patrick Fuller, communications manager,
Asia Pacific, IFRC
Mobile : +60 122 308 451
Reeni Amin Chua, communications officer,
Asia Pacific, IFRC
Mobile : +60 192 744 968
Ahmad Husein, senior development and communication manager,
Mobile: +62 812 106 4579
Jessica Sallabank, Senior Media Officer,
Mobile: +41 79 948 11 48