Disasters put development at risk and development choices can likewise generate new disaster risks, The increasing interest of ECOWAS member states in disaster risk reduction has mainly been driven by efforts to fulfill its peace and security mandate, including the management of humanitarian outcomes of conflicts. The focused attention on disaster issues culminated in the establishment of disaster reduction as an operational theme. The ECOWAS Council of Ministers 51st Session in December 2003 in Accra established a Technical Committee on Disaster Management to recommend ways to operationalize a disaster prevention and reduction capacity.
This Policy document is presented in three parts: Part I provides the background to the Policy, an introduction, a summary of reviews of disaster management practices and capacities in West Africa, including key challenges, and, justification for a policy for disaster risk reduction for West Africa. Part II covers the policy vision, statement, objectives, scope and principles, in addition to the focus areas, strategies and priorities for action under the Policy. Part III covers the institutional mechanisms for implementation.