Disaster Risk Reduction

In recent years the growing frequency and severity of natural disasters such as Asian tsunami 2004, Sichuan-China Earthquake 2008, Pakistan floods 2010, Fukushima disaster 2011 and Hurricane Sandy 2012 become more and more menacing to the whole world. From 2000 to 2010, economic damage as a result of disasters amounted to around US$ 1 trillion. The number of people affected globally by disasters has been increasing by an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 per decade, since the early 1970s, with 250 million affected per year over the last decade. Women and children are 14 times more likely to die during a disaster than men (1).

In response to the growing natural disasters, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) was formed in 2000, by the Secretariat within the UN system (UNISDR). On 18–22 January 2005, 168 member states adopted a ten-year global action plan for reducing disaster risks and making communities resilient, known as Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) for 2005–2015 (the full text is here). The HFA outlines five priorities for action, and offers guiding principles and practical means to prevent and reduce consequences of disasters. Its goal is consists in significantly to reduce losses of disasters to 2015, preparing the countries and community for disasters. UNICEF contributes to the framework’s priority actions: increasing national and local commitment to disaster risk reduction, assessing risks and supporting early warning and early action, creating awareness about disaster risks and risk mitigation and preparedness actions, reducing disaster risks through addressing underlying factors, enhancing disaster preparedness for response action.

Kazakhstan also as well as other states in Central Asia is subject to risks of natural disasters: earthquakes, landslides, floods, snow-storms, extreme low temperature etc. Therefore since 2008 UNICEF in Kazakhstan is involved is implementation of a disaster risk reduction (DRR) programme with the Ministry of Education and Science (2) and the Ministry of Emergency Situations (3). Focusing primarily on the education sector, the programme is enhancing national policies and capacities to better integrate elements of risk reduction within national education curricula, teacher training and day-to-day management of schools.

The programme is primarily funded by the European Commission`s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), DIPECHO, and is aimed at enabling communities and institutions to better prepare for, mitigate and respond to disasters. Among other key partners are Republican Institute for In-service Teacher’s Training Institute (RIPKSO), Republican training and methodical center of the civil protection, UNDP, Red Crescent Society of Kazakhstan.

Geography: Eastern Kazakhstan region, Southern Kazakhstan region, Almaty city and Almaty region

Main beneficiaries are: school and pre-school children, teachers, principals and other school staff, government policy makers and sector managers at national, regional and local levels, youth, parents and communities.

Results expected by the end of November 2013:

· National and local authorities and other DRR stakeholders achieve common understanding of DRR, and support DRR investments in education policies and programming.

· By end 2013, the capacity of national and local authorities and other DRR stakeholders, school administrations, teachers, and youth to implement DRR in education activities has increased.

· By end 2013, selected schools undertake disaster preparedness and risk reduction effectively.

Special attention is paid to develop and establish adequate structural and non-structural risk reduction mechanisms to ensure schools are compliant with international standards, including Hyogo Framework of Action, for child protection from natural disasters.

Materials developed: methodical materials for teachers, learning materials for schoolchildren, learning materials for pre-school children Riskland interactive game, OneMinuteJuniour Videos on DRR