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Disaster Risk Reduction Meeting To Address Health, Food Security, Intergovernmental Cooperation

Devex: Reducing disaster risk for better health
Rick Brennan, director of emergency risk management and humanitarian response at WHO

“…The [World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction] comes 10 years after governments adopted the Hyogo Framework for Action, which was a comprehensive guide to reducing disaster risk. On March 14, governments will come together again in Sendai, Japan, to adopt a new framework, in which the importance of safeguarding public health is given much more prominence. … WHO invites all stakeholders and organizations to commit to implementing the new framework’s health aspects. WHO will also keep supporting countries to strengthen their ability to manage the risks before, during and after disasters, increase action on climate and health, and implement the International Health Regulations. Above all, we urge all governments and stakeholders to support the implementation of the Safe Hospitals Initiative, which will make communities more resilient and protect people’s well-being and health from all types of disasters” (3/13).

Inter Press Service: Feeding a Warmer, Riskier World
José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization

“…[FAO’s] vision for ensuring that agriculture both benefits from and contributes to disaster risk reduction rests on four mutually reinforcing pillars that are applicable at the local, national, regional and global levels. First, we must manage risk. … Second, we have to watch to safeguard, establishing better information-gathering and early warning systems to identify threats. … Third, we need to reduce the underlying risk factors that make farmers, pastoralists, fishers, and foresters vulnerable. … Finally, maintaining a state of readiness to allow for rapid responses to the needs of the food production sector if disaster does hit is also key…” (3/13).

The Guardian: International collaboration vital in reducing impact of natural disasters
Lord Julian Hunt, visiting professor at Delft University, and Joy Pereira, professor at the Southeast Asia Disaster Prevention Research Initiative of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

“…One subject up for discussion will be regular intergovernmental assessments of scientific advances that can support the work of U.N. agencies dealing with natural disasters. The introduction of such a forum would be an important step forward: the enormous human and economic loss associated with natural disasters dwarfs the total loss associated with all other disasters, but it could be reduced through better science. … The U.N. meeting has potential not just to vet implementation of the Hyogo agenda, but also to set ambitious post-2015 frameworks for disaster risk reduction. One important development may be the creation of an inter-governmental platform” (3/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.