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Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid on the International Day for Disaster Reduction

13.10.2013

Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement today (13 October ) to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction:

“Disaster reduction is essential if we are to effectively master the increased humanitarian challenges we face. It considerably reduces the number of victims and damage caused during a natural disaster and is thus more cost-effective than post-disaster measures.
Germany therefore works on an ongoing basis to strengthen international disaster reduction efforts and is helping to protect lives and reduce damage before natural disasters occur.”

Background:

In 2009, 13 October was declared International Day for Disaster Reduction by the United Nations. A rising number of people are suffering around the world as a result of natural disasters; in the last 12 years alone, around 2.9 billion people have been hit by such disasters while some 1.2 million people have lost their lives. On average, 900 natural disasters occur every year. The economic damage has amounted to roughly 1.7 trillion US dollars during the last few years.

Disaster reduction comprises three key elements: risk analysis, disaster prevention and preparedness. Preparedness is one focus of the Federal Foreign Office’s humanitarian aid. In the course of 2013, the Federal Foreign Office has provided around 8.3 million euros for preparedness activities around the world. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development makes available approximately 15 million euros each year for disaster reduction projects in developing countries. What is more, disaster reduction measures are integrated into many more ongoing development projects.

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