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Natural Disasters: Children

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that development strategies in countries prone to disasters include measures for managing and mitigating the impacts of disasters on children. (187923)

DFID is committed to supporting international and national efforts to prevent and mitigate the effects of natural disasters in poorer disaster-prone countries. DFID is providing £3 million over three years (2006 to 2009) to the United Nations international strategy for disaster reduction (ISDR), which launched the global campaign "Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School" in 2006. The campaign promotes the 'disaster-proofing' of school buildings, inclusion of disaster risk reduction (DRR) in school curricula and the active role children can play in promoting DRR in their communities. Examples of activities include: a consultative meeting in Kenya on DRR for Education Ministry officials from 19 African countries. This inspired the Mozambican Ministry of Education and Culture, with the support of the Mozambique Red Cross Society, to implement DRR training in 76 schools, reaching 4,400 children.

DFID also supports Action Aid's "Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) through Schools" project and Plan UK's "Children and Young People at the Centre of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management" project, for which DFID is providing £2.8 million and £2.9 million respectively over five years. In Bangladesh, Action Aid have funded an interactive learning kit for children on DRR, aimed at helping children learn about disaster risk and take action to reduce risk. In Sierra Leone, Plan UK is providing DRR training for 30 children’s groups and 28 schools.