The regional perspective

Disaster risk reduction is a key priority given the vulnerability of the region to disasters and the increased risks associated with climate change, rapid urbanization and increased socio-economic vulnerabilities. Governments have made serious commitments to address such risks through a number of global agendas including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Paris Agreement. Regional mechanisms are underway to roll out these commitments at the national and regional levels. IFRC and National Societies are well placed to contribute toward the achievement of the relevant goals and targets.

Reducing disaster risk and resilience building requires an integrated approach and strong linkages among the different agendas and goals. More importantly is the transformation of these commitments into concrete action at the community level. This is where the IFRC and National Societies will provide the last mile delivery of community-based disaster risk reduction and resilience programs, through capacity building, enhanced preparedness, enhanced partnerships and greater awareness building.

Key Definitions

“The concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events.”

UNISDR Terminology 2009

“The systematic process of using administrative directives, organizations, and operational skills and capacities to implement strategies, policies and improved coping capacities in order to lessen the adverse impacts of hazards and the possibility of disaster.”

UNISDR Terminology 2009

“The set of capacities needed to generate and disseminate timely and meaningful warning information to enable individuals, communities and organizations threatened by a hazard to prepare and to act appropriately and in sufficient time to reduce the possibility of harm or loss.”

UNISDR Terminology 2009


A dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage.


The combination of the probability of an event and its negative consequences.


The characteristics and circumstances of a community, system or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard.

UNISDR Terminology 2009


The knowledge and capacities developed by governments, professional response and recovery organizations, communities and individuals to effectively anticipate, respond to, and recover from, the impacts of likely, imminent or current hazard events or conditions.


The restoration, and improvement where appropriate, of facilities, livelihoods and living conditions of disaster-affected communities, including efforts to reduce disaster risk factors.

UNISDR Terminology 2009

    Disaster Risk Reduction online courses available on IFRC Learning Platform are:

    • Principles and Rules for Red Cross and Red Crescent Humanitarian Assistance

      1 hour

    • Sphere Handbook in Action (English)

      6.5 hours

    • Contingency Planning (English)

      1 hour

    • Emergency Needs Assessment (English)

      1 hour

    • The ABC of VCA (Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment) (Materials)

      5 minutes

    e-mail: Disaster Risk Management Delegate, Hung Ha Nguyen, at

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    Red Cross volunteers man the table for registration of residents affected by flood caused by Typhoon Koppu that will receive food items and sleeping mats at Barangay Delfin, Albano, Isabela, north of Manila on October 20, 2015.
    Philippines. Manila, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan struck Philippines 8th November, 2013. Volunteers and staff working with food items at Philippine Red Cross HQ. Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross.
    Khammouane Province, Laos, 2015 There is no I in teamwork. Village Disaster Protection Unit members share a laugh together following completion of a Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction simulation. The exercises and drills focus on disaster preparedness and response at village level, ensuring communities are equipped with skills to activate emergency plans and save lives. Through the simulation project Lao Red Cross and partner French Red Cross, with support from the European Union, are improving safety for vulnerable communities.
    14. Daw San Thida Tun, 27, Maw Like Kalay South village, Kalay, Sagaing and the rest of her village lost everything in floods in August 2015 have been able, through support from the Myanmar Red Cross, to restart their lives. They received a 500,000 MMK (approximately 385 USD) cash grant and were able to buy the plot of land that her new temporary house stands on, as well as install a well and to purchase some concrete foundation blocks to use as soon as her family has saved up enough money to buy the rest of the materials. “I was so surprised when I heard about the money from the Red Cross! I didn’t expect it at all. I had no idea how we were going to survive before this grant, so we were overjoyed when we heard we would be receiving this assistance from MRCS. If we hadn’t received this, we would have had an extremely difficult time.” Mandy George, IFRC
    School safety or school based risk reduction programme in Myanmar.

    Document library - Disaster risk reduction

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