Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa in 2020

On 23 July 2020, the Africa Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction – DRR (AWGDRR) held a virtual one-day dialogue. Key deliberations included support for African countries to recover and build-back-better post covid-19 and other disasters affecting the continent in 2020, such as floods, droughts, locust invasion, and health-related epidemics. The action points resulting from the meeting were: increased support for advocacy and awareness raising on DRR/M, with AWGDRR as the champion for disaster and climate resilience; increased resource mobilisation for enhanced DRR/M; capacity building to enhance prevention and response and to improve risk governance; better understanding and management of systemic hazard risks; and, strengthening coordination and early warning mechanisms.

The July meeting was followed by a 2nd Virtual Meeting of the AWGDRR on 22 October 2020. The virtual meeting was to assess progress made on the implementation of the focus areas identified in the first virtual meeting in July 2020 and to monitor the progress made in the implementation of the Sendai Framework, especially the requirement for countries to have national and local level DRR strategies by 2020. The meeting noted progress in capacity building for Member States and RECs on DRR/M; the support by the Italian Government in the establishment of continental early warning system and support by the Government of Sweden for the Early Warning, Early Action Programme in the Horn of Africa region; as well as provision of US$12 billion by the World Bank towards COVID-19 response in the continent.

On the development of DRR/M strategies, it was reported that at least 33 States had either developed (19 countries) or were in the process of developing (14 countries) their DRR/M strategies as per the requirements of the Sendai Framework target (e). Despite this progress, the meeting noted the need for more effort to achieve the previous action points and also identified further action points to be addressed, which included: increased support to States in DRR/M resource mobilisation; increased capacity building for disaster and climate resilience in the continent; accelerated development of inclusive DRR/M strategies and plans of action at national and local levels; increased support to enhance implementation of DRR/M strategies adopted at national/local levels; better reporting using the online Sendai Monitor; and increased engagement of local-level governance frameworks and communities in DRR/M.