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Disaster Risk Reduction Platform
DRR on global level
The reduction of technical risks has a very long tradition. As early as the 1960s, risk reduction measures have been discussed and were implemented. In contrary, risk reduction in the field of natural disasters is rather young. Before the 1990s disaster reduction was strongly response orientated. The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (UN DHA) had a prevention/mitigation branch. In contrast, in few countries hazard prevention has a long tradition (e.g. Switzerland).
From IDNDR to ISDR
Only in 1989 the UN initiated the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR 1990-1999) as a response to the rising disaster figures in industrialized and less developed countries. In 1994 the first conference on disaster reduction was held in Yokohama (Japan). The IDNDR secretariat was transformed in a permanent UN structure in early 2000: the ISDR initiative with its ISDR secretariat (International Strategy for Disaster Reduction).
The DRR issue received an enormous boost during the Kobe Conference (January 2005) where the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 was adopted. The Indian Ocean Tsunami, which occurred only 3 weeks before the conference was one of the major reasons for a global recognition of disaster risk reduction.
The international ISDR system has been shaped in 2006. The first Global Platform of the ISDR system took place in June 2007, the second in June 2009 with more than 1000 participants. The platform is the forum for nations, UN institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders. The third Global Platform will take place in Geneva on 8-13 May 2011.
DRR: a development issue
In 1999 the prevention/mitigation has been transferred from OCHA to UNDP, where a Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery has been established. Disaster risk reduction was recognised as development issue when the international financial institutions (IFI) started to invest in DRR. Forerunners were the ADB, IDB and Caribank. The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is a very active platform supported mainly by the Word Bank. Today the GFDRR is the main driver for DRR with a budget of USD 50 m. A number of organisations started to mainstream disaster risk reduction into development processes. Among others are UNDP, most of the IFI (WB, ADB, AfDB, IDB), DFID, gtz, OXFAM or AKDN.