Disaster Reduction Goal
The DIPECHO programme had been expanded over the years and now covers seven disaster prone regions: the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Central Asia, South Asia, South East Asia and South East Africa and South West Indian Ocean (see map). The projects funded by the programme include simple and inexpensive preparatory measures, often implemented by the communities themselves. They have proven extremely effective in limiting damage and saving lives when hazards suddenly strike. DIPECHO-projects will typically emphasize training, capacity-building, awareness-raising, establishment or improvement of local early-warning systems and contingency-planning. There are numerous examples that these simple and community-owned preparedness measures enable communities at risk to save their own lives and livelihoods when disaster strikes. As any other relief provided by ECHO, DIPECHO projects are carried out by European-based aid agencies and UN agencies in close cooperation with local NGOs and authorities.
The best results are only achieved when there is effective co-operation between citizens, civil society groups and local, regional and national authorities. ECHO has found that in most cases, community organisations and municipalities are enthusiastic and actively contribute to DIPECHO activities. In 2008 alone, ECHO has allocated €32.3 million for disaster preparedness in the Central Asia, South East Asia, Central America and South East Africa and South West Indian Ocean.
Contribution to international Disaster Risk Reduction efforts – the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015
ECHO strongly supports all international efforts, including those coordinated by the United Nations, to increase disaster risk reduction worldwide.
ECHO therefore actively supported the World Conference for Disaster Reduction held in Kobe, Japan in January 2005 following the Tsunami. This conference was one of the milestone events that led to the formulation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and the international commitment to strengthen the International System for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) established within the auspices of UN OCHA. During the first session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, held in 2007, ECHO shared its strategy and experience in a panel on Strengthening Preparedness in Disaster Risk Reduction. Once again, ECHO is actively supporting the 2nd session of the Global Platform (June 2009) during which the EU Strategy supporting Disaster Risk Reduction in developing countries will be presented to government representatives, specialised UN agencies, lead donors, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, scientific and regional experts, and civil society representatives.