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UN official highlights need for disaster risk reduction in Caribbean

Published:Tuesday | May 14, 2019 | 2:07 PM
Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori - CMC Photo

GENEVA, CMC — A senior United Nations official has highlighted the importance of disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean amid the “existential threat” that climate change poses to the region.

Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, said that 90 per cent of major disasters are related to severe extreme weather events.

“And we wouldn’t say all of them but we know that there is a lot of correlation between climate change and these disasters,” she told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The biennial multi-stakeholder forum was established by the UN General Assembly to review progress, share knowledge and discuss the latest developments and trends in reducing disaster risk.

“And the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands and the islands in the African regions, the small island developing states, SIDS, they are facing an existential threat by climate change and all these extreme weather events,” Mizutori said.

She told CMC that for countries in this grouping “it is extremely important that the international community focuses at all levels on disaster risk reduction.”

She, however, pointed out that focusing on the importance of disaster risk reduction is not enough.

“… if it leads to the increase augmentation of international cooperation support towards this agenda, I think this is one big achievement,” Mizutori said.

The UN official said that this year’s conference is especially important as it would examine whether counties are on track to meet next year’s deadline for meeting Target E of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework).

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