International day for disaster risk reduction 2023 - Pirac

International day for disaster risk reduction 2023

13 October 2023

In 1989, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed October 13 “International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction” to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction. This date is an opportunity to recognize the worldwide progress made  in terms of disaster prevention, preparedness and risk reduction, but also to highlight challenges still remaining.

Combating inequalities for a more resilient society

This year, the focus was on the reciprocal links between disasters and inequalities. Indeed, social disparities, poverty and vulnerability to disasters are two sides of the same coin: unequal access to services exposes people to greater disaster risk, while the impacts of disasters exacerbate inequalities and push those most at risk into poverty. It’s a vicious circle that must be stopped.

Certain categories of the population can be more severely affected: women, the elderly, people with disabilities. It is therefore essential to take into account their specific needs in order to adapt disaster prevention and preparedness measures.

The Caribbean region faces many challenges

The Caribbean region is one of the most disaster-prone in the world (earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, drought, etc.). It is mainly made up of states fragmented into archipelagos of isolated islands. Climate change is exacerbating these risks, strengthening vulnerabilities linked to the high cost of living, poverty levels, insularity and dependence on imported products.

This is why PIRAC’s programs are committed to strengthening regional cooperation between different territories facing common challenges, and where it is important to pool risk reduction efforts. Global decision-makers and governments must adapt the financial system to its purpose: to provide financing to the countries most vulnerable to climate change. We need to accelerate the implementation of early warnings over the next four years, giving priority to the communities most at risk.

Several activities organized within PIRAC

A number of activities were organized to celebrate the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction in the French-speaking territories of the Caribbean:

Saint-Martin: National Resilience Day in Marigot

Since 2019, the French Red Cross has been involved in actions aimed at strengthening the risk culture among  Saint-Martin inhabitants, in partnership with the territory’s institutional risk management and education players. The idea of this awareness-raising morning is to publicize the practices of the French Red Cross on the territory of Saint Martin, with 15 volunteers presenting the various actions on the territory as well as PIRAC.

Guadeloupe: raising awareness in Pointe-à-Pitre

This event is organized by Pointe-à-Pitre Town Hall to mark International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. Several activities were planned: a traveling exhibition in schools, a demonstration in front of the town hall and a debate on disaster management within organizations.

The focus is on raising awareness of the risk of flooding – given the particularly vulnerable nature of the area – and preparing for the catakit. Classes from local schools, and the general public attented.

Martinique : raising awareness into a shopping mall

An awareness event was organized in a Shopping mall called Galleria through Fok nou paré program specifically developped for Martinique territory. During the whole day, many pupils from schools and visitors attented the event dedicated to hurricane awareness to learn best behaviours and protection measures.

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