The interactions between climate change trends, ecosystem fragility, disease outbreaks, rapid unplanned urbanization, mass displacement and geopolitical instability, fueled by the interconnectivity of communications, trade, financial systems and politics, mean that shocks, stresses, and crises reverberate globally.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded the world what the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is all about: risk is systemic, interconnected and cascading. Climate change is driving increased risk across all countries, and unpredictable hazards can have devastating cascading impacts on all sectors, with long-lasting, debilitating socio-economic and environmental consequences.

As UN Member States move forward with Agenda 2030, more focused, accelerated action is required to help countries identify and analyse the broad range of risks they face, put in place appropriate measures to mitigate existing risks and to prevent the creation of new risks.

Reducing existing risk, preventing the creation of new risk and building resilience take a whole-of-society approach. And they all take committed leadership and governance. 

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Climate action and disaster risk reduction

Findings from the recent 6th IPCC Assessment Report point to an urgent need to accelerate action to avert climate related disaster risks, through fast-tracked implementation of the Sendai Framework.

Child leaps over a drain in a camp in Bangladesh
Humanitarian action

Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction highlights the need to “link … relief, rehabilitation and development, [and to] use opportunities during the recovery phase to develop capacities that reduce disaster risk in the short, medium and long term.”


Disasters do discriminate. They tend to disproportionately affect the most vulnerable, especially the poorest. This is why the Sendai Framework calls for an all-of-society engagement and partnership.

Wanawake Kwanza (Women First) growers association in Maza village, Morogoro, Tanzania
DRR in Least Developed Countries

As many least developed countries (LDCs) face an increasingly complex risk landscape, the impacts of disasters continue to undermine hard-won progress towards sustainable development.

Financing prevention

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Investing in disaster risk reduction is a precondition for effective disaster risk governance that is prepared to tackle the systemic nature of risk.  Governments need to invest in and prioritize prevention and resilience. As the reality of climate impacts hit, we need to assure to decrease losses.

Current actions are not commensurate with the sheer scale of the challenge – the rapid accumulation of disaster risk that is systemic, interconnected and cascading. Actions to reverse this trend are needed if governments want to achieve the outcome and goal of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 efficiently and effectively.


Words into action

The Words into Action series provides practical guidance to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework, ensure engagement and ownership of action by all stakeholders, and strengthen accountability in disaster risk reduction.


The Sendai Framework recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.