14 February 2013

Zambia: 40 African Countries Debate Disaster Reduction

REPRESENTATIVES of 40 African countries have gathered in Arusha for the fourth Africa Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction to discuss Africa's position on a new global framework for disaster risk reduction.

The conference is being hosted at the height of floods hitting Mozambique for the sixth time since 2000.

On the sidelines of the conference, seven media houses in Africa including the Times of Zambia endorsed a media declaration on the need for active participation in the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) for 2005 to 2015, which tailored specific solutions after the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2003.

Africa's five regional bodies namely the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS), the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) were being represented at the conference.

Disaster experts for the five regional bodies were expected to discuss challenges and to develop a joint position on the new global framework for disaster risk reduction which would be agreed during a 2015 world conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) slated for Japan.

Africa's experience of implementing the existing HFA, the first global action plan for reducing disasters, will be widely debated during the three-day Arusha conference.

UNISDR chief and the UN special representative, Margareta Wahlström said in a media release here, yesterday that investment decisions made across Africa now, would determine the future of disaster risk management across the continent.

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