UNFPA is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries use of population data in policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
Disaster Reduction Goal
Anchored within the four pillars of its Humanitarian Results Framework, UNFPA’s goal in DRR is to mainstream resilience-building and programming in order to ensure contributions are made towards UNFPA’s overarching goal of achieving universal access to Sexual and reproductive Health (SRH), including family planning to promote reproductive rights, to reduce maternal mortality, to address and respond to Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and to accelerate progress on the post ICPD framework and Sustainable Development Goals three & five, in order to empower and improve the lives of underserved populations, especially women and young people (including adolescents). UNFPA allocates resources, advocacy and communication to DRR for Resilience to support implementation of Sendai Framework at global, regional and country levels.
UNFPA’s has defined six strategic areas for building resilience to disasters by focusing on:
• Early warning, risk assessments and use of population data translated into effective and measurable early action;
• National community capacity by strengthening communities’ safety nets to contribute to long-term improvements;
• Holistic early recovery approaches encompassing the engagement of all actors in transition settings;
• Improved coherence between development and humanitarian planning processes at national level;
• Resilience-building of health systems focusing on continued access to quality sexual and reproductive health care and services;
• Commitment and investment in young people to fulfill their potential, and help achieve peace and security.
Policies and Programmes in DRR
UNFPA is a member of the Senior Leadership Group on DRR and Resilience which (1) oversees strategic and policy aspects on the operationalization of the UN Plan of Action, (2) reviews progress, agree on annual priorities and address gaps and issues related to the implementation of the UN Plan of Action, (3) ensures linkages and coherence with process related to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, and (4) engages in advocacy, communication, partnerships and joint funding approaches.
DRR in the context of Strategic Plan 2018 - 2021
The UNFPA Strategic Plan, 2018-2021, is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and responds to other global frameworks underpinning the 2030 Agenda, including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In the Strategic Plan, UNFPA humanitarian work is mainstreamed across the four strategic plan outcomes, including eleven indicators reflecting the increased importance and the mainstreaming of humanitarian actions in development work.
UNFPA's DRR strategies will focus on applying a resilience approach by linking prevention, preparedness and response with national capacity building in disaster risk reduction. UNFPA also works with partners to deliver humanitarian aid and ensure that the specific needs of women, girls, men and boys, with special focus on youth, are addressed from the onset of a disaster. Specifically, DRR strategies among others will include the following:
• Collecting sex and age disaggregated socio-demographic data on affected and vulnerable populations to support equity-based sound DRR and humanitarian action;
• Planning and budgeting emergency preparedness and response and disaster risk reduction plans which integrate sexual and reproductive health;
• Building national capacities to prepare and respond to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (SRHR) and to support global level advocacy and galvanize efforts on the need to prioritize SRHR into DRR action plans and into promoting resilience of communities and systems.
• Articulating and operationalizing actions to mainstream gender and to effectively addressing gender-based violence (GBV) coordination and prevention, risk mitigation and response programming;
• Empowering young people (adolescents and youth) to claim their rights and to lead and participate in sustainable development, humanitarian action and sustaining peace;
• Providing specific expertise, guidance, tools, training and range of capacity building as required;
• Supporting global, regional and national level coordination.
DRR in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals:
Disaster Risk Reduction constitutes a strategic priority for UNFPA across the SDGs and with regard to support in data collection and analysis, sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence programming and youth empowerment. In addition, UNFPA supports countries in monitoring the implementation of the Sendai Framework by ensuring coherence with the monitoring frameworks of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, the New Urban Agenda and other international frameworks.
DRR in the context of UNFPA’s technical areas:
1. Preparedness and DRR
UNFPA is actively working to enhance its organizational capacity and knowledge, along with that of its partners, in the area of emergency preparedness in order to ensure an effective response to likely, imminent or current hazard events and conditions (both sudden and slow onset disasters). This approach focuses on strengthening organizational and partner risk analysis and monitoring, including the identification of natural hazards, and prioritizes a set of minimum preparedness actions (rolled out in 2014) that are required of all UNFPA business units to complete.
UNFPA's preparedness efforts are further strengthened through active cooperation with partners from all sectors, including IASC members and the Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) approach. In this way, UNFPA is actively contributing to enhancing disaster preparedness to improve effective response, one of the four priorities of the Sendai Framework.
2. Data and DRR
Based on its long-standing collaboration in humanitarian programming through the various subsidiary bodies of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), UNFPA, together with various partners, develops adapted tools and approaches to address the multiplicity of data-related challenges in humanitarian crisis situations.
In order to assure that information is made available, analyzed, used and disseminated during preparedness and to assess population affected in humanitarian situations, UNFPA:
• Takes an important role in rapid assessment and data collection during emergencies, to guide crisis response and enable humanitarian organizations and affected populations to better understand how needs are evolving under rapidly changing circumstances;
• Enhances the methodology of subnational population counts, population projection, vulnerable population assessment and mapping, and geospatial analysis of population and data for disaster preparedness;
• Fosters the work with National Statistical Offices to contribute to sub-national counts, living conditions and projections, vulnerability analysis, and establishment of protocols, procedures and good practices of data management, its protection and privacy that could be jeopardized in humanitarian situations;
• Engages with INFORM (a risk-assessment index that is designed to support decisions about crisis and disaster prevention, preparedness and response) partners on risk assessment indicators and methodology enhancement, and engages with UNHCR on the refugee and migration people assessment;
• Works closely with OCHA to contribute to the development of the Technical Support Package (TSP) and technical guidelines for the IASC Common Operational Datasets (CODs);
• In collaboration with partners from all sectors, including UN agencies, civil society, National Statistical Offices, academia and the private sector, facilitates data collection, analysis, dissemination, and utilization;
• Modernizes and strengthens UNFPA’s population data platforms used in support of humanitarian response and for disaster-preparedness;
• Advocates using better high resolution geo-spatially referenced population data, including traditional (census, sample surveys) and non-traditional data (e.g. satellite based estimated population) for disaster preparedness and effective humanitarian response.
3. SRH and DRR
UNFPA works on building UN system capacity to deliver sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in coordinated manner to provide high quality support to countries with regard to DRR and DRM, assisting countries with risk informed development planning and Sendai Framework compliant national and local disaster risk reduction policy instruments. UNFPA:
• Supports UNRCs and UNCTs to effectively support and strengthen national and local communities in early warning, preparedness, response and recovery in relation to sexual and reproductive health;
• Incorporates DRR as part of its corporate Strategic Plan, policy and programming on sexual and reproductive health reducing existing and prevent future disaster and climate risk and strengthening resilience;
• Prioritizes technical assistance to countries on DRR and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights;
• Engages in global coordination and accountability mechanisms related to SRH and disaster risk reduction
• Participates in generating global risk data, analysis and policy advice related to SRH and implementation of the Sendai Framework.
• Strengthens partnerships and leveraging the partnership for increased financing for DRR and risk sensitive investment in SRH programming including family planning and comprehensive sexuality education;
• Invests substantial efforts to the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) and inter-agency MISP coordination by engaging, coordinating and reinforcing partnerships while striving to obtain increased donors support for cohesive programming integrating both pre- and post-crisis efforts;
• Strengthens the capacity of national Ministries of Health on MISP as part of preparedness, DRR and resilience-building;
• Invests in SRH surge capacity within the organization and externally with standby partners to strengthen implementing partner’s capacity in provision and implementation of quality SRH programmes.
4. GBV and DRR
UNFPA's Minimum Standards for Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies (GBViE) emphasizes actions that UNFPA staff and partners, particularly at national and community levels, must take to appropriately prepare for and respond to humanitarian crises caused by both sudden and slow onset natural disasters. Standard 13 requires UNFPA staff to reach the following outcome in their programming: Potential GBV risks and vulnerable groups are identified through quality, gender-sensitive assessments and risk mitigation measures are put in place before the onset of an emergency. Among other things, UNFPA's actions in this area include:
• In an effort to prepare for and build resilience to disasters, conducting risk analyses / vulnerability assessments to identify: who is most vulnerable to GBV and why; which capacities need to be developed / strengthened; and what relief and services are needed (vulnerabilities and capacities of individuals and social groups evolve over time and determine people’s abilities to cope with disaster and recover from it).
• Conducting capacity assessments/capacity building to ensure GBV actors are able to design and implement preparedness activities, and actors engaged in preparedness are aware of and prioritize GBV activities.
• Mobilizing adequate resources and pre-positioning response supplies such as rape treatment kits and medical examination/intake and case management forms, with a focus on sites most likely to be affected.
• Linking women and girls to quality mental health and psycho-social services that are survivor- centered, build individual and community resilience and support positive coping mechanisms.
• Coordinating and supporting the establishment of safe spaces where women and girls can access resources, support, basic services, social networks and referrals to additional services.
• Identifying channels for potential community interventions to prevent and respond to GBV through religious leaders, teachers, community leaders, health workers and others.
• Establishing and strengthening national and sub-national GBV coordination mechanisms; clarify leadership and structure prior to emergency response.
5. Youth and DRR
In line with its mission and commitment to the Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action, which was agreed to at the World Humanitarian Summit and is co-lead by UNFPA and the IFRC, UNFPA places a high priority on safeguarding young people's wellbeing and addressing the specific needs and concerns of youth affected by crisis, as such by:
• Promoting age and gender responsive programmes;
• Supporting systematic inclusion of young people, especially involvement of youth in humanitarian action that targets them;
• Developing young people’s capacity and resilience;
• Advocating for sufficient resources to address the needs of adolescents;
• Supporting the generation and use of age and sex aggregated data.
UNFPA will seek to cooperate with its key partners inside and outside of the UN system to deploy joint programmes which take a broader life-course approach and pay attention both to the context in which young people live and to barriers they face in exercising their rights. This approach will build on investments made in the past years in getting young people recognised as positive agents of change, including in humanitarian action and for resilience, peace and security issues and in getting recognition that young people represent a unique demographic dividend if the right investments are made.
With 49 humanitarian partners, governments, NGOs, UN entities, youth led initiatives, and the private sector, the Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action represents an unprecedented commitment of key actors to ensuring that the priorities, needs and rights of young women and young men, girls and boys affected by disaster, conflict, forced displacement and other humanitarian crises, are addressed, and that they are informed, consulted, and meaningfully engaged throughout all stages of humanitarian action.
The Compact is a platform for operationalizing the global ambitions in transforming the humanitarian and developmental aid through advancing the meaningful youth engagement at all levels.
6. Climate Change Adaptation and DRR
Disaster risk reduction can significantly reduce the impact of climate change related hazards. UNFPA has been working with partners to create connections between population and climate change adaptation and to integrate population-based disaster risk reduction processes into countries’ national climate change adaptation planning. In this domain UNFPA:
• Provides technical support to countries in incorporating population data and population dynamics into climate change adaptation, particularly using census data and other geospatial datasets (environmental data, infrastructure data, etc.);
• Generates country implementation guidance for population-based assessment of climate-related risk for national and local climate change adaptation planning;
• Develops Demographic Exploration for Climate Adaptation (DECA) tool in partnership with Wolfram Research to illuminate the connections between population dynamics and risk associated with climate-related hazards. This tool allows users without spatial analysis expertise to interact directly with the indicators and methodologies;
• Enhances the knowledge in the area of population and climate change, including drivers, emission, adaptation and impact, and works with UNECE Task Force on a set of key climate change-related statistics.
Membership in Key Networks
• United Nations System Chief Executive Board for Coordination (UNSCEB)
• Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Principals Group, Emergency Directors Group and Working Group
• IASC’s Working Group Subsidiary Bodies:
- Risk, Early Warning and Preparedness
- Humanitarian Financing
- Protection Priority: Global Protection Cluster
- Protracted Displacements
- Gender and Humanitarian Action
- Strengthening the Humanitarian / Development Nexus with a focus on Protracted Contexts
• Senior Leadership Group on Disaster Risk Reduction (SLG-DRR) coordinated by UNDRR
• High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP)
• INFORM Index Network led by the IASC Task Team for Preparedness and Resilience and the European Commission
• Global Protection Cluster and Gender-Based Violence Area of Responsibility
• Global Health Cluster
• Early Recovery Cluster
• Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) for Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations
• Inter-Agency Needs Assessment Task Force
• Communicating with Disaster-Affected Communities (CDAC) Network
• National Disaster Management Divisions / Units of line ministries in framework of existing contingency plans in some countries.
• Global MOU with IFRC and MOUs at national level in some countries.
Disaster Reduction Focal Point(s)
Humanitarian and Fragile Contexts Branch: email@example.com
605 Third Avenue New York 10158 New York United States of America
GP 2013 delegation
GP 2011 delegation
GP 2009 delegation
Conferences: - 2017 Global Platform
- 6th AFRP and 5th High-Level Meeting on DRR