Home » Posts tagged "FoodSecurityFoodAid" (Page 17)

UN agencies expand operations in southern Africa as poor harvests deepen food insecurity

19 October 2015 – An estimated 27.4 million people in southern Africa face food insecurity in the next six months, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned today, announcing the expansion of their operations to respond to the challenge, caused by poor harvests across the region.

In a press statement issued today from Johannesburg, South Africa, the UN agencies cited poor harvests experienced by farmers across the region, which will negatively impact the capacity of vulnerable farmers to purchase seeds, fertilizer and other necessities for the current planting season.

According to the latest update from the Southern Africa Food and Nutrition Working Group, the region faces the risk of another poor monsoon and harvest resulting in ‘significant increase in food and nutrition insecurity in the region.’

Lesotho and southern parts of Angola and Mozambique face food insecurity. Areas facing immediate threats are Malawi, Zimbabwe and Madagascar, where severe crop failure due to extended dry spells, extensive flooding and impactful tropical storms have resulted in increasing food insecurity.

Malawi is experiencing the worst food insecurity in a decade with nearly 2.8 million people reported to be food insecure.

WFP is planning to assist 2.4 million food-insecure people during the height of the lean season, the period prior to the next harvest when domestic food stocks become depleted.

The agency says it also plans to implement social protection plans such as food assistance with cash transfers and have already assisted nearly one million people who have been affected by floods.

FAO has supported the Government of Malawi in preparing the agricultural section of the national food insecurity response plan.

This would include provision of inputs, with an emphasis on drought-tolerant crops such as cassava, sweet potatoes, sorghum and millet and on supplementary irrigation in order to cope with potential prolonged dry spells.

The agencies report that in Zimbabwe, an estimated 1.5 million people are expected to be food insecure in the coming months after harvests were down by 50 per cent than last year.

FAO is working with the Government to rehabilitate 34 irrigation schemes and increasing rural finance access to 127,000 smallholder farmers to adopt climate smart technologies.

The agency is also providing support to 40,000 smallholder households to engage in commercial livestock production and assisting in distributing vaccines for the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the country.

FAO has also prepared a drought mitigation programme, for which there is a financial gap of US $32 million to support livestock and crop farmers with stock feed and seeds respectively, in the most affected parts of the country.

WFP plans to assist the Government and partners by providing cash and food transfers to over 400,000 vulnerable people which could scale up to 850,000 people during lean season.

Both agencies focus on building resilience in southern Africa by promoting and supporting climate smart technologies, social protection schemes, refurbishing and construction of water management systems, tree planting and terracing to prevent soil erosion.

The agencies report that food prices may soar early in the season which could cause further hardship for poorer households.

Both FAO and WFP have reaffirmed to collectively help the governments in the impacted countries improve food price monitoring.

Lastly, the UN agencies report that along with food security, the region faces the highest level of chronic malnutrition in children and HIV prevalence in adults.

Read More

UN Agencies Respond To Growing Food Insecurity In Southern Africa

JOHANNESBURG – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are expanding their operations in response to growing food insecurity as a result of poor harvests across much of southern Africa. There will be an estimated 27.4 million food-insecure people in the region during the next six months, according to the Southern African Development Community 2015 Vulnerability Assessments.*

WFP, FAO and other partners are meanwhile monitoring the El Niño weather phenomenon which could significantly impact southern Africa following a poor agricultural season in 2014/15. The intensity of the El Niño is increasing towards a peak expected in late 2015, and may become one of the strongest such events on record. The region faces the risk of another poor rainfall season and harvest resulting in a “significant increase in food and nutrition insecurity in the region,” according to the latest update from the Southern Africa Food and Nutrition Working Group.

Food insecurity means that people struggle to buy or produce enough nutritious food to lead a healthy life.

Poor Harvests
Most at threat from immediate food insecurity are Malawi, Zimbabwe and Madagascar which all suffered severe crop failure due to extended dry spells (combined, in Malawi, with extensive flooding and, in Madagascar, with the effects of strong tropical storms). There are also concerns about growing food insecurity in Lesotho and the southern parts of Angola and Mozambique. While Botswana and Namibia also suffered from extensive drought earlier this year, people in these countries are not considered as much at risk.

The poor harvest experienced by farmers across the region will negatively impact the capacity of vulnerable farmers to purchase seeds, fertilizer and other necessities for the current planting season.

Malawi: Worst Food Insecurity in a Decade
Malawi is experiencing the worst food insecurity in a decade, and 2.8 million people are reported to be food insecure. FAO and WFP are implementing various measures to alleviate the situation. WFP is planning to assist 2.4 million food-insecure people during the height of the lean season, the period prior to the next harvest when domestic food stocks become depleted. Lean season activities will combine food assistance with cash transfers in areas where market conditions allow. So far this year, WFP has already provided food assistance to one million people who have been affected by floods.

FAO has supported the Government of Malawi in preparing the agricultural section of the national food insecurity response plan. The agricultural needs have been estimated at US$44 million. The response will include provision of inputs, with an emphasis on drought-tolerant crops such as cassava, sweet potatoes, sorghum and millet and on supplementary irrigation in order to cope with potential prolonged dry spells.

Zimbabwe: Harvest Down by Half
It is estimated that at least 1.5 million people will be food insecure in Zimbabwe in coming months following a harvest that was down 50 percent on last year. FAO is working with the government to support resilience building approaches among vulnerable groups. Some 34 irrigation schemes in drought prone districts are being rehabilitated. As many as 127,000 smallholder farmers are receiving support to adopt climate smart technologies and increase their access to rural finance.

In the livestock sector, FAO is providing support to 40,000 smallholder households to engage in commercial livestock production. The organization is also responding to the foot and mouth disease outbreak in some parts of the country where 5.4 million doses of vaccines are still required.  FAO has also prepared a drought mitigation programme, for which there is a financial gap of US$32 million, to support livestock and crop farmers with stock feed and seeds respectively, in the most affected parts of the country.

WFP is working with the government and partners to assist some 400,000 of the most vulnerable people, scaling up to reach 850,000 people at the height of the lean season. Assistance will be given in the form of both food and cash transfers.
 
Building Resilience
FAO continues to support the adoption of climate smart technologies for both livestock and crop production systems as a way to promote sustainable production and increased resilience among communities. WFP has started cash- and food-for-work projects whereby rural communities work on the refurbishment or construction of schemes such as water management systems, tree planting and terracing to prevent soil erosion.

Food Price Rises
FAO and WFP, together with other stakeholders, will consolidate efforts to help governments improve food price monitoring in their countries. Early indications point at market prices beginning to soar earlier than is normally the case. Such a development so early in the season is likely to cause further hardship for the poorest households.

Compounding the food insecurity situation are the region’s high levels of chronic malnutrition in children and of HIV prevalence in adults – both are among the highest in the world.

The UN agencies have expressed gratitude for the generous contributions made so far in support of the vulnerable people of the region. However, they are facing significant shortfalls and, unless more funding is forthcoming, it will not be possible to provide needed assistance to all those in need.

* This figures excludes Angola, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles    

#                              #                                 #

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO’s three main goals are: the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

For more information please contact:
Edward Ogolla, FAO/Harare, tel. + 263 771681178, email: edward.ogolla@fao.org
David Orr, WFP/Johannesburg, tel. + 27 82 908 1417, email: david.orr@wfp.org

Read More

UN urgently appeals for $86 million to tackle food insecurity in Zimbabwe

12 October 2015 – The United Nations in Zimbabwe has appealed to humanitarian and development partners for $86 million that is critically needed to fill a shortfall to support 1.5 million people affected by food insecurity in the country.

“The food security response plan, developed through a consultative process, requests $132 million, with $46 million so far pledged leaving a shortfall of $86 million to support 1.5 million people affected by food insecurity in 52 districts,” said Bishow Parajuli, UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe, in a statement during a high level consultative meeting this past Friday of senior government representatives, UN agencies and development partners in the capital, Harare.

The request followed a recent call by Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa, chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Food and Nutrition Security, to partners for support.

Expressing gratitude to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department for International Development (DFID) in the United Kingdom for their joint $43 million pledge, the Resident Coordinator called on other humanitarian and development partners to “join hands in responding to the funding gap.”

The response plan, which covers various sectors, has a gap of $41 million in food assistance; $32 million in agriculture and livelihoods; $5 million in nutrition; $5 million in protection and social safety nets; and $3 million in water, sanitation and hygiene to assist the most vulnerable populations in the country.

Supported by the Government, UN, non-governmental organizations and donors, the 2015 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee reported that food insecurity was the result of agricultural production loss – due mainly to prolonged dry spells in the southern and south-eastern parts and poor rainfall distribution patterns both in space and time across the country.

With logistical support from the World Food Programme (WFP), the Zimbabwe Government has urgently provided 30,000 MT of cereals.

“While addressing the urgent lifesaving needs of the affected communities, the assistance needs to be delivered in a way that strengthens resilience of the affected communities to adapt to recurrent erratic rain patterns and natural disasters,” said Retired Colonel Christian Katsande, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, citing the limited alternative opportunities of the affected communities.

On behalf of the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Paula Vazquez Horyaans recognized that vast areas of Zimbabwe affected by structural food insecurity were aggravated by the effects of climate change and El Niño. She confirmed that the implementation of an EU-supported national resilience framework would help create a resilient nation – one capable of protecting development gains against shocks and stresses and supporting inclusive economic growth – and stressed the importance of a coordinated approach to emergency responses for strengthened medium- and long-term resilience coping mechanisms.

Reiterating the dire food security situation and looming El Nino effect on the next season, the UN Resident Coordinator called for concerted and pro-active action to address immediate needs and invest in national resilience-building efforts.

The UN agencies participating in the response to the food insecurity are the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), WFP and World Health Organization (WHO).

Read More

Helen Clark: Speech at Side Event “Governments Leading the Way: Digitizing Payments and Advancing Inclusive Finance to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”

26 Sep 2015

We meet in the wake of the adoption of the new sustainable development agenda by world leaders yesterday. This was an historic moment; the moment when the world committed to poverty eradication in the context of sustainable development. The new agenda is about doing development differently so that both people and our planet benefit.

Member States have given finance and technology a prominent place in the Sustainable Development Goals. Inclusive finance alone is included in the targets of seven of the seventeen goals. Its potential to drive sustainable development forward - simultaneously reducing poverty, promoting food security, empowering women, and enabling economic growth has been well recognized.

The role of digital payments and other digital financial services are also recognised in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development. Specifically highlighted is the potential of digital financial services to drive down transaction costs, and to free up resources to fund development priorities. At the same time such services open up opportunities for the previously “unbanked” and “under-banked” to earn interest, avoid incurring expensive fees, apply for credit, and open registered businesses. This brings people and businesses into the formal economy.

Government leaders, ministers, and representatives speaking here today know well the benefits of going digital – for making transfer payments, for procurement, and for tax collection. By centralizing and digitizing its wage, pension, and welfare payments, the Government of Mexico made savings of $1.3 billion. Estimates suggest that fully automating the delivery of government payments in India could save the government more than $22 billion every year.

Reducing overheads, transaction costs, and fraud through digitisation also benefits consumers and households. Those being paid digitally under Colombia’s cash transfer program, for example, were able to open a bank account—enabling them to save as well as make and receive payments.

UNDP is well aware that moving to payments via mobile devices reduces risks of misappropriation, improves transparency, and provides a stronger audit trail. We ourselves are piloting the use of mobile money in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria, and will draw on the lessons learned to expand this to other countries.

The challenge of making secure and reliable payments was paramount during the response to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Response workers were needed urgently, and they needed to be paid. But to pay them correctly, it was important to know who they were, what they did, and how long they were working.

UNDP, with UNCDF technical support, brokered partnerships between the governments of the affected countries and private sector technology and mobile phone companies.

As a result, over 23,000 Ebola response workers were paid efficiently and transparently. They remain registered in the national hazard payroll system. The success demonstrated the need, wherever possible, to have such systems in place well before a disaster strikes.

This and other examples illustrate how important partnerships are to achieve development goals. With governments leading the way, development organizations such as UNDP and other members of the Better than Cash Alliance can help broker relationships with key partners in the private sector, civil society, and beyond.

As we move to implement Agenda 2030, we at UNDP and in the UN Development System more generally, are confident that digital payments and financial inclusion will be increasingly employed by governments and development actors in all walks of life. We look forward to working with you to this end.

Read More

Magdy Martínez-Solimán: Statement at the launch of the National Risk Atlas of Rwanda

10 Sep 2015

Your Excellency Honorable Minister of Disaster management and Refugee Affairs, Ms Seraphine Mukantabana,
Your Lordship Mayor of Kigali
Your Excellency the Ambassador of the EU, Mr Michael Ryan
My Dear Colleague UN RC and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Lamin Manneh
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Mr Antoine RUBEVANA
Dear Colleagues of United Nations of the One UN Country Team in Rwanda
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure and an honor to be here today as we launch the National Risk Atlas of Rwanda. On behalf of the UNDP Administrator, Madam Helen Clark, I would like to thank the Government of Rwanda for inviting us to participate, and commend you for your leadership in prioritizing disaster risk reduction. I also thank the World Bank and European Union, as well as other partners and practitioners, for joining the Government and UNDP to make this initiative a reality. Obscure budget lines are good money, Ambassador, thank you for shedding light on that dark but productive corner of the budget.

To understand the importance of the National Risk Atlas, you have to establish the relationship between disasters and development. What was once seen as a niche concern – disaster risk reduction – has since become a clearer concept of insuring development, making it sustainable, and protecting hard-fought gains against the avatars of climate shocks.

Decades of disaster losses, now estimated at over 2 trillion USD in the last twenty years, have brought home the fact that development gains are too easily exposed to risk. From earthquakes in Nepal to flooding in southern Africa to storms across the Caribbean and in the U.S., we see billions of dollars each year wiped away by natural hazards that could and should be better planned for. It is this lack of planning that is costing us not only money, but actual human lives. The island of Dominica lost 50% of its GDP due to a cyclone.

And the costs of disasters don’t stop at the immediate damages. The 2002 drought in India affected more than half the country, cost over a million days of employment, and shrank the country’s agricultural GDP by 3.1 percent. Hurricane Mitch, which hit Central America and the Caribbean in 1998, is estimated to have set back development by as much as twenty years in the developing countries that were most affected.

Rwanda and the rest of Africa are no exception to this. The flooding in February in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, impacted hundreds of thousands of people. Droughts in east Africa and the Sahel continue to trap millions in poverty and have forced subsistence farmers to seek new livelihoods and support mechanisms. And climate change may mean that these hazardous events could become even more frequent and intense. Rwanda itself, as this Atlas clearly illustrates, is both highly prone and highly exposed to drought, landslides, floods, earthquakes and windstorms. Thunder is specific risk that can be integrated with cost-effective solutions.

How are we expected to maintain progress and eradicate poverty in the face of such a cycle of damage and loss? This question is at the heart of all stakeholders’ efforts. None is so badly hit as the people and communities who see their hard-earned gains so quickly rolled back -in a matter of days, or sometimes hours.

More has to be done to include disaster risk reduction into development planning and community awareness. Every job created, every social service established and every bridge built must have a solid understanding of disaster risk behind. When you lose a farm, you lose more than cattle and crops. When you lose a school, you lose more than a building, you step back in human development and have to start all over again – just to recover.

This brings me to the National Risk Atlas of Rwanda: a tool which represents an innovative professional and credible approach by the Government of this country to undertake a comprehensive mapping and risk-analysis of the nation as the PS has underscored. By first clearly identifying the areas at risk, or those potentially at risk, development decisions can be made to reflect the realities on the ground, and encourage a risk-informed and sustainable development approach. The development of the Atlas is a critical link in the effort to bring together DRR and development, and represents a pioneering initiative on the African continent.

The National Risk Atlas will help the Government and its partners, including UNDP, to gather, present, and disseminate timely and accurate risk information that can be fed into everything from local livelihood support to the building of national infrastructure. Local authorities, for instance, can use the information on flood-prone areas to designate farming zones, Government Agencies and private investors will be able to identify and avoid building in hazard-prone areas, such as those susceptible to landslides. The end result? Better, evidence-based decision making and long lasting infrastructure.
 
The Atlas can also lead to better hazard mitigation measures, including stronger water retention and irrigation methods for drought-prone areas; the introduction of more sustainable approaches to land use planning; and the establishment of early warning systems, contingency plans, and pre-disaster recovery plans in areas at risk. The list of possible uses of this tool is extensive.

At the local level, communities will have the capacity to understand where and how they are at risk, and to take precautionary measures that could mitigate the likelihood of floods or landslides, as well as establish the systems to prepare for and respond to risks, should that prove necessary.

The findings of the Risk Atlas will also help identify climate-vulnerable livelihoods and negative changes in ecosystems. By detecting such issues, policy planners can take the necessary steps to make those livelihoods climate resilient, and help those hazard-prone areas to both adapt to the effects of climate change and reverse the degradation of ecosystems.

The National Risk Atlas of Rwanda affirms that, in order to reduce disaster risk, we need to address existing threats and risks and be prepared for future worst-case scenarios.  This requires a robust monitoring, assessing and understanding of disaster risks, and their integration into development planning and policies.

Looking ahead, allow me to offer four recommendations:

First, development must be risk-informed in the best spirit of the Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the findings from the Risk Atlas, as well as from risk-assessments in general, must feed into any and all development planning. National and local development plans and strategies are prime opportunities for this, and efforts should be made to institutionalize the findings and utility of the Atlas.

Second, disaster data must be accessible and useful to all stakeholders, especially those most vulnerable. Consulting with communities, both on the gathering and use of risk data, is critical to the longevity and utility of the Risk Atlas. Not only will communities be best placed to provide critical and historical information, but integrating disaster risk findings into District Development Plans will help build resilience and, in the long-term, save lives and resources.

Third, disasters know no borders neither does knowledge. Disaster risk reduction must therefore be regional and global in nature. The flooding in southern Africa in February is evidence of this, and should be a spur to promote regional support and South-South cooperation “Linking up with similar disaster Management agencies” as Amb. Ryan just said, for wider risk-mapping in Africa. Rwanda has demonstrated vision and leadership in developing the Risk Atlas and there is clearly a role for the country to play in scaling up such efforts. UNDP would happily support such an initiative.

Finally, we must build partnerships with the private sector in support of both poverty reduction and disaster risk reduction. It is a fact that most development is undertaken by the private sector, not by governments alone, and as such, any movement to ensure risk-informed development must include private investors. The data from the Risk Atlas must therefore be made accessible to private sector stakeholders.

Again, on behalf of UNDP, I would like to commend the Government and its Development Partners, the Bank and the EU, without their trust this work would not have been possible, for investing in this long-term approach to disaster risk reduction and to better, risk-informed development. The National Risk Atlas of Rwanda represents inspiring progress, and we look forward to continue working together to make full use of its findings.
MURAKOZE CHANE (Thank you in Kinyarwanda)

Read More

Magdy Martínez-Solimán: Statement at the Launch of Rwanda National Risk Atlas

10 Sep 2015

Your Excellency Honorable Minister of Disaster management and Refugee Affairs, Ms Seraphine Mukantabana,
Your Lordship Mayor of Kigali
Your Excellency the Embassador of the EU, Mr Michael Ryan
My Dear Colleague UN RC and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Lamin Manneh
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Mr Antoine RUBEVANA
Dear Colleagues of United Nations of the One UN Country Team in Rwanda
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure and an honor to be here today as we launch the National Risk Atlas of Rwanda. On behalf of the UNDP Administrator, Madam Helen Clark, I would like to thank the Government of Rwanda for inviting us to participate, and commend you for your leadership in prioritizing disaster risk reduction. I also thank the World Bank and European Union, as well as other partners and practitioners, for joining the Government and UNDP to make this initiative a reality. Obscure budget lines are good money, Ambassador, thank you for shedding light on that dark but productive corner of the budget.

To understand the importance of the National Risk Atlas, you have to establish the relationship between disasters and development. What was once seen as a niche concern – disaster risk reduction – has since become a clearer concept of insuring development, making it sustainable, and protecting hard-fought gains against the avatars od climate shocks.

Decades of disaster losses, now estimated at over 2 trillion USD in the last twenty years, have brought home the fact that development gains are too easily exposed to risk. From earthquakes in Nepal to flooding in southern Africa to storms across the Caribbean and in the U.S., we see billions of dollars each year wiped away by natural hazards that could and should be better planned for. It is this lack of planning that is costing us not only money, but actual human lives. The island of Dominica lost 50% of its GDP due to a cyclone.

And the costs of disasters don’t stop at the immediate damages. The 2002 drought in India affected more than half the country, cost over a million days of employment, and shrank the country’s agricultural GDP by 3.1 percent. Hurricane Mitch, which hit Central America and the Caribbean in 1998, is estimated to have set back development by as much as twenty years in the developing countries that were most affected.

Rwanda and the rest of Africa are no exception to this. The flooding in February in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, impacted hundreds of thousands of people. Droughts in east Africa and the Sahel continue to trap millions in poverty and have forced subsistence farmers to seek new livelihoods and support mechanisms. And climate change may mean that these hazardous events could become even more frequent and intense. Rwanda itself, as this Atlas clearly illustrates, is both highly prone and highly exposed to drought, landslides, floods, earthquakes and windstorms. Thunder is specific risk that can be integrated with cost-effective solutions.

How are we expected to maintain progress and eradicate poverty in the face of such a cycle of damage and loss? This question is at the heart of all stakeholders’ efforts. None is so badly hit as the people and communities who see their hard-earned gains so quickly rolled back -in a matter of days, or sometimes hours.

More has to be done to include disaster risk reduction into development planning and community awareness. Every job created, every social service established and every bridge built must have a solid understanding of disaster risk behind. When you lose a farm, you lose more than cattle and crops. When you lose a school, you lose more than a building, you step back in human development and have to start all over again – just to recover.

This brings me to the National Risk Atlas of Rwanda: a tool which represents an innovative professional and credible approach by the Government of this country to undertake a comprehensive mapping and risk-analysis of the nation as the PS has underscored. By first clearly identifying the areas at risk, or those potentially at risk, development decisions can be made to reflect the realities on the ground, and encourage a risk-informed and sustainable development approach. The development of the Atlas is a critical link in the effort to bring together DRR and development, and represents a pioneering initiative on the African continent.

The National Risk Atlas will help the Government and its partners, including UNDP, to gather, present, and disseminate timely and accurate risk information that can be fed into everything from local livelihood support to the building of national infrastructure. Local authorities, for instance, can use the information on flood-prone areas to designate farming zones, Government Agencies and private investors will be able to identify and avoid building in hazard-prone areas, such as those susceptible to landslides. The end result? Better, evidence-based decision making and long lasting infratructure.
 
The Atlas can also lead to better hazard mitigation measures, including stronger water retention and irrigation methods for drought-prone areas; the introduction of more sustainable approaches to land use planning; and the establishment of early warning systems, contingency plans, and pre-disaster recovery plans in areas at risk. The list of possible uses of this tool is extensive.

At the local level, communities will have the capacity to understand where and how they are at risk, and to take precautionary measures that could mitigate the likelihood of floods or landslides, as well as establish the systems to prepare for and respond to risks, should that prove necessary.

The findings of the Risk Atlas will also help identify climate-vulnerable livelihoods and negative changes in ecosystems. By detecting such issues, policy planners can take the necessary steps to make those livelihoods climate resilient, and help those hazard-prone areas to both adapt to the effects of climate change and reverse the degradation of ecosystems.

The National Risk Atlas of Rwanda affirms that, in order to reduce disaster risk, we need to address existing threats and risks and be prepared for future worst-case scenarios.  This requires a robust monitoring, assessing and understanding of disaster risks, and their integration into development planning and policies.

Looking ahead, allow me to offer four recommendations:

First, development must be risk-informed in the best spirit of the Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the findings from the Risk Atlas, as well as from risk-assessments in general, must feed into any and all development planning. National and local development plans and strategies are prime opportunities for this, and efforts should be made to institutionalize the findings and utility of the Atlas.

Second, disaster data must be accessible and useful to all stakeholders, especially those most vulnerable. Consulting with communities, both on the gathering and use of risk data, is critical to the longevity and utility of the Risk Atlas. Not only will communities be best placed to provide critical and historical information, but integrating disaster risk findings into District Development Plans will help build resilience and, in the long-term, save lives and resources.

Third, disasters know no borders neither does knowledge. Disaster risk reduction must therefore be regional and global in nature. The flooding in southern Africa in February is evidence of this, and should be a spur to promote regional support and South-South cooperation “Linking up with similar disaster Management agencies” as Amb. Ryan just said, for wider risk-mapping in Africa. Rwanda has demonstrated vision and leadership in developing the Risk Atlas and there is clearly a role for the country to play in scaling up such efforts. UNDP would happily support such an initiative.

Finally, we must build partnerships with the private sector in support of both poverty reduction and disaster risk reduction. It is a fact that most development is undertaken by the private sector, not by governments alone, and as such, any movement to ensure risk-informed development must include private investors. The data from the Risk Atlas must therefore be made accessible to private sector stakeholders.

Again, on behalf of UNDP, I would like to commend the Government and its Development Partners, the Bank and the EU, without their trust this work would not have been possible, for investing in this long-term approach to disaster risk reduction and to better, risk-informed development. The National Risk Atlas of Rwanda represents inspiring progress, and we look forward to continue working together to make full use of its findings.
MURAKOZE CHANE (Thank you in Kinyarwanda)

Read More

Subcribe to my feed Follow on Twitter Like On Facebook Pinterest

Search News

Calendar

September 2018
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Zimbabwe Online News is an interactive website which compiles all form of news and press releases for the visitors.

Read More!

Zimbabwe Online News Copyright © 2017