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Developing Countries: Natural Disasters

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to minimise the impact of natural disasters in developing countries. (158295)

DFID’s policy on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)1 is to support measures to prevent and mitigate the impact of natural disasters at the global, country and community level. At the global level, DFID is supporting DRR programmes through the Geneva-based UN International Strategy for DRR, the World Bank, the ProVention Consortium of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the International Federation of Red Cross Societies. DFID is also supporting the community-level DRR work of five NGOs.

DFID’s support for DRR through its regional programmes includes the Chars Livelihoods Programme in Bangladesh, which has helped raise 32,700 households on plinths above the flood level; the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility, to enable Governments to jump-start recovery efforts after disasters; and an NGO Consortium for DRR in Niger, which aims to strengthen vulnerable communities. Following the Government’s commitment to allocate up to 10 per cent. of each emergency response to a natural disaster to DRR, where appropriate, DFID is supporting DRR in Indonesia; the Indian Ocean Early Warning System; UN capacity-building in climate adaptation; and the World Health Organisation Disease Early Warning System and institutional capacity-building in Pakistan.

1 See DFID’s policy paper ‘Reducing the Risk of Disasters—Helping to Achieve Sustainable Poverty Reduction in a Vulnerable World’. ISBN 186192 751 7 (deposited in the Libraries of the House).