Reducing disaster risk in 2020: opportunities for Australia
By Megan Williams Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is everyone’s business. Or so the saying goes.
Yet a quick search of the Devpolicy blog archives yields a disappointingly low number of hits – sixteen blogs came up in a search of DRR across the last eight years’ worth of commentary, but only four dealt with the topic in any substantive way. (It should be noted this search covered a timeframe when both the Sendai Framework for DRR and Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific were both launched).
I suspect that the absence of commentary in this blog reflects a general malaise about DRR in the Australian development sector. Aid sector advocacy on DRR hasn’t changed – for the last four years, ACFID’s budget ask has been to increase DRR investment to 5% of ODA. Advocacy effectiveness is however, hard to measure as DFAT’s reporting makes it difficult to track DRR spend – DRR is conflated with preparedness and response in the budget line and the only way to get an understanding of total spend that includes expenditure in country, regional and multilateral programs is via Senate estimates.
This malaise is in an environment where the Australian Government is spending more on humanitarian assistance than ever before and the evidence for the cost-effectiveness of such investments in DRR is increasingly widespread.
In an announcement that gained little public attention last year Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, then Minister for International Development and the Pacific, announced that in June 2020 Australia would host the Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR. Set to have a more intentional focus on the Pacific and become the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on DRR under Australia’s leadership, APMCDRR (try to say that three times quickly) puts DRR up in lights for Australia in the next …read more