Improving disaster risk reduction around the world 

Earthquake on Sulawesi, Indonesia

Earthquake on Sulawesi, Indonesia, © Sijori Images via ZUMA Wire

13.10.2018 - Article

All around the world, natural disasters are becoming ever more severe and frequent. Today’s International Day for Disaster Reduction serves as a reminder of the importance of being well prepared.

Around the globe, Germany supports countries in their efforts to prepare for future extreme weather events.

Why is disaster risk reduction important?

Droughts, earthquakes, storms and tsunamis – recent years have shown that natural disasters are occurring more frequently, and causing greater devastation, all around the world. This is also a result of climate change. Often, the poorest sections of the population are hardest hit by such events. The Federal Foreign Office is therefore promoting disaster risk reduction efforts around the world.

Dr Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, emphasised the following in her statement on today’s International Day for Disaster Reduction. “In the past 20 years, the number of natural disasters worldwide has more than doubled from around 200 to over 400 per year. The recent earthquake and severe tsunami in Indonesia are just one example of the devastating impact and humanitarian emergencies following such disasters. Although we cannot prevent extreme natural events, we can ease the humanitarian impact on the people affected and help them to prepare better for such eventualities.”

What is Germany doing?

Drought in Kenya
Drought in Kenya© picture alliance / Photoshot

In cooperation with experienced partners, Germany is implementing disaster reduction measures in highly vulnerable countries. For example, the German Government is helping its humanitarian partners make better use of predictions of imminent disasters, thereby enabling them to rein in the risks they face.

This includes so called Forecast-based Financing (FbF). Funding for humanitarian assistance is provided on the basis of detailed extreme weather forecasts and risk analysis if certain thresholds are reached – that is, before the extreme weather event occurs. The aim of this approach is to predict impending extreme weather disasters more accurately and, if possible, reduce their humanitarian impact and prevent suffering.

The Federal Foreign Office will continue working to further innovative approaches to disaster reduction worldwide.


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