The UNDRR Regional Office for Africa covers 44 countries South of the Sahara. Working closely with the Africa Union Commission and partners, the office supports the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction at the regional, national, and local levels. The provision of technical advice and the building of strategic partnerships has been instrumental in raising DRR awareness, building capacities and promoting coherent efforts aligned with other international frameworks, including the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Urbanization is often synonymous to development, especially in the African region. The search for opportunities and better quality of life continues to draw more and more people into urban areas, most of which grow into unplanned cities. Our experience reveals existing gaps in the capacities of local governments and stakeholders to reduce disaster risk adequately. Constantly facing the threats of flooding, epidemics and other hazards, African local governments require strengthened awareness campaigns, capacity building and resources to be able to plan and execute timely effective efforts to reduce losses in lives and livelihoods due to disasters. There is a need to enhance horizontal and vertical linkages among national and local authorities as well as communities, and to ensure that disaster risk reduction is handled as a cross-cutting issue. We also promote stakeholder engagement in the planning and implementation of resilience strategies that will ensure no one is left behind.
We look forward to working with our partners during the Decade of Action to contribute to building resilient cities by addressing the three dimensions of disaster risk: exposure to hazards; vulnerability and capacity; and hazard’s characteristics. In collaboration with the Regional Coordination Committee, we aim to empower local governments to prevent the creation of new risk, reduce existing risk and increase resilience on the continent.