October 13th-The International Day for Disaster Reduction

The International Day for Disaster Reduction started in 1989 with the approval by the United Nations General Assembly. The UN General Assembly sees International Day as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Originally celebrated on the second Wednesday of October, the UN General Assembly decided in 2009 to designate October 13th as the date to celebrate IDDR.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction is a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of DRR. It’s also a day to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

The 2015 theme for the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is part of a Step Up initiative started in 2011.
Facts and Figures

  • More than 226 million people are affected by disasters every year. Over the last 40 years, most of the 3.3 million deaths caused by disasters occurred in poorer nations.
  • In 2000-2010, over 680,000 people died in earthquakes. Most of these deaths, due to poorly-built buildings, could have been prevented.
  • Less than 0.7 per cent of total relief aid goes to disaster risk reduction, although every dollar spent on preparedness saves 7 dollars in response.
  • Between 2002 and 2011, there were 4,130 recorded disasters from natural hazards around the world, in which more than 1.117 million people perished and a minimum of US$1,195 billion was recorded in losses.
  • In East Asia and the Pacific, the risks of dying from floods and cyclones have decreased by two thirds since 1980.