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OUTCOME STATEMENT OF THE AFRICAN YOUTH MOVEMENT’S VIEWS FROM THE FRONTLINE 2013 NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DISASTER RISK REDUCTION HELD AT BENUE HALL, TRANSCORP HILTON, MAY 14, 2013
Conscious of the need to build resilience of Nigerian Peoples and communities through a cycle of learning, reflection and action in furtherance of VFL 2013 Marshall plan for disaster risk reduction; delegates drawn from the African Youth Movement, the Global Network for Disaster Reduction National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Bayelsa State Government of Nigeria, the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Influence Africa, Buy Naija, Unemployed Youth Support Group, the Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction, , the Galaxy Group and a host of numerous other stakeholders gathered today, May 14 2013 at the Benue Hall, Transcorp Hilton to assess the level of disaster risk reduction in Nigeria.
• In 2012, flood disasters in Nigeria displaced 2.3Million people, killed over 363 persons, destroyed about 597, 476 houses and left economic losses in billions of dollars (NEMA)
• In the last twenty years natural disasters have affected 64% of the world’s population (UNISDR)
• Economic losses associated with disasters continue to grow each year in all regions (EM-DAT)
• 95% of people killed by disasters are from developing countries (IPCC)
• Women, children and the elderly disproportionally suffer the greatest disaster losses (UNISDR)
• More than 50% of people affected by ‘natural disasters’ live in fragile and conflict-affected countries (Safer World)
• Conflict, insecurity and fragility affect one in four people on the planet (World Bank)
• The majority of disaster losses are due to small-scale recurrent disasters, primarily associated with weather-related hazards (UNISDR/GNDR VFL)
• There is a continuing gap between national DRR policies and local-level practices (GNDR VFL 2009/2011/2013)
Views from the Frontline (VFL) over the last year has surveyed the perspectives on disaster risk governance of over 20,000 representatives of affected communities, local authorities and civil society organisations in 57 low and middle-income countries to produce the 2013 Views from the Frontline Report. VFL also developed recommendations for the successor framework to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) - the UN framework to reduce disaster losses globally.
VFL 2013 National Conference in Nigeria endorses the VFL 2013 recommendations for a post-2015 disaster risk reduction framework to strengthen the resilience of communities to all hazards thus:
1. Address the underlying causes of people’s vulnerability to disaster
The UN-ISDR Global Assessment Report itself has revealed that of the HFA’s Priorities for Action, the slowest progress has been made on reducing underlying risk factors. The successor framework needs to address this by strengthening local governance and recognising the role of communities and civil society in supporting effective social change processes to eradicate poverty and exclusion. Besides addressing the dynamic changes, such as urbanisation, that increase vulnerability, the framework must also respond to the role that structural inequalities, patriarchy and power imbalances between social groups play in creating vulnerability.
2. Recognise the impact of everyday disasters on lives, livelihoods and assets
Cumulatively more losses result from recurrent, everyday disasters than from the large-scale disasters recorded in national loss databases. To reduce such losses it is essential that the global DRR framework incorporates a strong focus on these small scale natural and human derived disasters. A holistic framework needs to reflect the multi-dimensional inter-dependent nature of risks that impact on vulnerable people’s lives and livelihoods.
3. Prioritise the most at risk, poorest and marginalised people
It is the poorest communities in developing countries that have reported the highest growth in disaster losses since 2005 (Views from the Frontline, GNDR, 2013). The HFA2 needs to promote DRR policy strategies that respond to the differential vulnerabilities amongst countries and social groups, and between genders. It must also recognise the role that high-risk vulnerable groups play in achieving effective local risk governance.