Fifth Arab Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

Following the success of the Africa-Arab Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction and building on the outcomes of the Sixth session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2019, the Fifth Arab Regional Platform for DRR is organized by the UNDRR Regional Office for the Arab States (UNDRR -ROAS) in collaboration with the League of Arab States (LAS) and hosted by the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco from 8 to 11 November 2021.

Objectives

The Fifth Arab Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will be multi-stakeholder, inclusive, innovative, interactive and will take into account gender considerations in line with the Sendai Framework guiding principle of an “all-of- society approach” to pursue the following objectives:

1.    Take stock of progress made in the implementation of the Sendai Framework and Arab Strategy for DRR 2030 in the region and reaffirm political commitment to accelerate its implementation.

2.    Identify viable approaches and mechanisms to advance the implementation of the Arab Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and define regional priorities for the following two years.

3.    Provide the region with opportunities to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices around selected regional disaster risk reduction priorities and to forge innovative partnerships in advancing the Sendai Framework Targets, achieving resilient economies and building risk-informed sustainable development.

4.    Consult on the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and provide recommendations for the 7th session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, to be held in Indonesia in May 2022.

5.    Promote complementarity and alignment of disaster risk reduction with climate change and sustainable development as well as the integration of disaster risk management in all relevant humanitarian, development, and health sectors.

Outcome

The platform is expected to yield increased commitments of countries to enhance attention to risk-sensitive investments, showcase the progress made in national and local strategies and achievements in line with Sendai Framework.  The outcomes of the Arab Regional Platform for DRR will inform the 2022 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York and the 2022 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Specific outcomes based on regional perspective will be as follows:

1.    A political declaration – consolidating the political commitment of governments towards preventing and reducing risk as well as strengthening resilience by accelerating implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework and the Arab Strategy for DRR 2030 in the region and increasing government investments in disaster risk reduction;

2.    A set of renewed Stakeholders’ voluntary action statements on implementation of the Sendai framework and Arab Strategy for DRR 2030;

3.    A Prioritized Plan of Action (2021-2024) for the Arab Strategy for DRR 2030 to accelerate the implementation of the Sendai framework in the Arab Region.

Theme

The theme of the 5th Arab Regional Platform for DRR is From Risk to Resilience: Accelerating Local Action for DRR and reflects the essence of the Sendai Framework.

The Sendai Framework clearly highlights in its guiding principles that, “While the enabling, guiding and coordinating role of national and federal State Governments remain essential, it is necessary to empower local authorities and local communities to reduce disaster risk, including through resources, incentives and decision-making responsibilities, as appropriate”.

The COVID19 crisis underscored the importance of addressing risk management and preventive actions at the local and sub-national levels and through a more systemic approach. While countries have put tremendous effort in developing their national and local strategies on DRR towards attainment of Target E of the Sendai Framework by 2020, it is now a critical imperative for countries to ‘accelerate’ the implementation of disaster risk reduction policies and strategies at all levels - and more crucially at the local level – in alignment with other global agendas.

The Fifth Arab Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction theme and topics will strive to identify innovative actions that enable Arab countries to lead a paradigm shift from standalone disaster management or risk management to more holistic risk resilient development practice. Moreover, the Ministerial gathering at the Platform will ensure countries’ commitment towards local resilience and its coherence with climate change, SDGs and the needed investment in development to reduce risk.

The Platform theme will assure direct link between disaster risk and broader development problems. The theme will address underlying risk drivers, such as poverty and inequality, poor living conditions, unplanned urbanization processes, environmental degradation, lack of regulations and enforced “good development” practices at all levels and across all sectors. Having access to basic infrastructure and services – including risk-reducing infrastructure and services, good quality housing in safe locations, secure tenure, and income and livelihoods opportunities – reduces exposure and vulnerability and therefore, risk.

 

Arab States Disasters

During the past 30 years, the Arab region was affected by more than 270 disasters, resulting in more than 150,000 deaths and affecting approximately 10 million people (EM-DAT). The region is prone to a multitude natural and man-made hazards, some of which are amplified and affected by climate variability and climate change including:

Droughts

Over the past 50 years, droughts had the largest regional cumulative impact in terms of death, affected people, and economic losses, with their frequency and severity being shaped by climate variability (CRED 2020).

Wildfires

Wildfires are a problem in Mediterranean countries and as per local disaster loss databases, only in Lebanon more than 1,200 wildfires have been recorded since 1981.
Economic Losses

The economic losses accounted for almost $60 billion in the past 50 years in the Arab region resulting from natural and man-made hazards.

COVID-19 Pandemic

As the rest of the world, the Arab Region has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with all Arab countries reporting on COVID-19 cases and deaths. The pandemic has proven to be far more than just a health crisis, affecting societies and economies in multiple ways. Projections show that almost 8.3 million people are likely to be thrown into poverty in the Arab region, with at least $42 billion loss in terms of GDP. The pandemic will most likely lead to increased poverty and exacerbated inequalities at a global scale, making achievement of SDGs even more urgent. Disasters, including COVID-19 pandemic, increase our vulnerability and challenge the progress towards achieving sustainable development, providing a stark reminder on the importance of prevention and the risk reduction agenda.

 

Arab Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction

Regional platforms and conferences in the region started during the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Apart from the technical discussions, the platforms provided a unique opportunity for governments and stakeholders to reaffirm commitment to reducing disaster losses through the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). The platforms serve as a forum to exchange experiences on successful DRR practices and innovative approaches.

To ensure the effective implementation of Sendai Framework and Arab Strategy for DRR, UNDRR Regional Office for Arab States has been convening Arab Platforms on DRR, which have been providing a multi-stakeholder forum that brings together Arab Member States, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia, women, youth, civil society, UN organizations and other stakeholders. These platforms aim to review, develop, and align the implementation of the Arab DRR Strategy and the Prioritized Action Plans to reduce risk and build the resilience of communities and nations to natural and man-made hazards. Furthermore, they aim to enhance disaster risk reduction efforts through exchange of experiences and better communication and coordination. These platforms provide a unique opportunity for governments to reaffirm their political commitment to implement the Sendai Framework.

Arab Regional Platforms include those held in Aqaba, Jordan, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Doha, Qatar and Tunis, Tunisia focused on issues related to local level implementation of the HFA, shaping the Sendai Framework, updating the Arab strategy and Programme of work with prioritized actions for the first 2 years.

Contact

 
Key documents

Logistical Note [EN] [AR]
Advisory Note [EN] [AR]
Concept Note [EN] [AR] [FR]
Tunisia Declaration [EN] [AR]
Prioritized Action Plan 2018- 2020 [EN] [AR]
Sixth Arab Partnership Meeting Report [EN]
Arab Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction 2030 [EN]
Communique of the Chair, Africa-Arab Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction [EN] [AR]