Disaster risk reduction: policy brief

This brief addresses disaster risk reduction (DRR) as a priority in order to curb the rising cost of humanitarian assistance and economic loss, while also protecting long-term development investments. It considers the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction as an opportunity to ensure that the policies and plans put forth in the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) are matched by sufficient financing, technical expertise, and capacity building.

It proposes some recommendations for the U.S. to improve its programs and help those living in disaster-prone regions, through: (i) supporting local partners through greater community outreach and resources; (ii) providing resources to national and local governments and communities to enable them to better prepare and respond to disasters and conduct their own disaster risk assessments; (iii) dedicating at least 10 percent of humanitarian emergency assistance for DRR, and increase USAID development funding for DRR and climate change adaptation (CCA); (iv) developing and institutionalizing a comprehensive DRR/CCA/resilience strategy across USAID while ensuring humanitarian needs are not overlooked; (v) identifying DRR focal points in USAID and its Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance at both headquarters and the mission level to better liaise with other donors, national governments, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders on DRR issues; and (vi) increasing support for DRR activities and policies that reduce negative impacts of human activity, legal/regulatory barriers, and climate change (i.e., flood control and coastal management), and promoting planned and regulated land use and urban development.