13 October: International Day for Disaster Reduction

International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) was observed globally on 13 October 2016 with theme Live to Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality. The day encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

The 2016 edition marks the launch of the new “Sendai Seven” campaign by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Sendai Seven is centred on the seven targets of theSendai Framework, the first of which is reducing disaster mortality. UNISDR’s campaign seeks to create a wave of awareness about actions taken to reduce mortality around the world.

The Sendai Seven Campaign is an opportunity for all, including governments, local governments, community groups, civil society organisations, the private sector, international organisations and the UN family, to promote best practices at the international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses.

United Nations data says, worldwide, women and children are up to 14 times more likely than men to die in a disaster and roughly 60% of preventable maternal deaths and 53% of preventable under-5 deaths take place in conflict and disaster settings. Other groups affected disproportionately include persons living with disabilities, older persons and indigenous people.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Earlier, the day was celebrated on the second Wednesday of October (Resolution 44/236, 22 December 1989). But in 2009, the UN General Assembly formally designated 13 October as the annual date (Resolution 64/200, 21 December 2009).

Annually held on 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters. It also raises awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

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