Red Cross and Red Crescent experts gather in Cancun, Mexico for 5th Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction

19/05/2017 - by the Climate Centre

(This story is an IFRC press release issued earlier today.)


With the needs of communities affected by disasters rapidly outpacing resources available to respond to them, Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders are calling for a new approach to humanitarian action – one that strengthens resilience and builds a foundation of strong local actors.

IFRC Secretary General Elhadj As Sy is leading the Red Cross and Red Crescent delegation in Cancun.

“There is so much more that could be done to protect lives and livelihoods, and dramatically reduce the cost of emergency response by acting fast on warnings and alerts before shocks and hazards hit,” said Mr Sy. 

“Why do we always wait until people are on the brink of starvation? Why do we always wait until the flood or storm has hit?

“There is no reason for hazards to become disasters if we prepare and respond adequately.”

The IFRC will be highlighting the importance of strengthening local humanitarian capacity – an issue that has grown in prominence since last year’s World Humanitarian Summit – as well as a partnership with UNISDR and UN Women that aims to address the deadly consequences of gender inequality in disasters.


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The Netherlands-based Partners for Resilience (PfR) alliance is organizing several side-events at Cancun, the Climate Centre adds.

On Tuesday, a networking event – ‘Global ambitions, local work’ – will centre on climate adaptation and ecosystem management and hear remarks from Corsmas Goemans, the Netherlands government’s focal point on disaster risk reduction, and UNISDR chief Robert Glasser.

On Wednesday, one side-event hosted by the African Union and PfR will centre on the impact of the 2015–16 El Niño; another will focus on integrating ecosystem-based solutions with climate and development dimensions, jointly facilitated with the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction and the Swiss NGO DRR Platform.