(*) UNISDR, Core Contribution 2015-2016

Project completed

The world today is affected by more natural and man-made disasters than ever before. The number of natural disasters has increased threefold in the last 30 years. Disaster and Risk Reduction (DRR) is a main strategic focus of the bill to Parliament for international cooperation 2013–16 and one of four priorities for SDC humanitarian aid for the same period. UNISDR is a priority partner in line with SDC’s objective of strengthening multilateral partnerships.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Switzerland
Other
01.01.2015 - 31.12.2016
CHF 2'250'000
Area of responsibility
  • The United Nation's Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) serves as focal point within the UN system for the coordination of disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities and ensures synergies in this regard with other agencies of the UN system, regional organisations, international financial institutions and civil society organizations, etc.
  • With the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR) by 187 member states in March 2015, UNISDR is mandated to oversee the implementation of the SFDRR, undertake efforts to ensure that the ,UN Plan of Action on DRR for Resilience" translates into effective support to countries and communities, and to bring disaster risk management and disaster resilience to new levels of international engagement, commitment and action.
Switzerland's and the organisation's strategic priorities and their coherence
  • DRR is a strategic priority of the Swiss Government and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Switzerland's political commitment in this particular field is reflected in the Federal Law of 1976 on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid. DRR also features prominently in the 2013-2016 Bill on International Cooperation. During the 2014 Presidency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Switzerland made DRR a top theme on the OSCE agenda.
  • At DRR policy level, Switzerland supported the 1994 Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World, became a driving force behind the 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), and contributed significantly with expertise and funding to the successful establishment of the SFDRR.
  • Switzerland considers UNISDR a key partner to bring the international DRR agenda forward.
Results of the organisation's previous engagement
  • Persistent lobbying and campaigning by UNISDR during the HFA era has been instrumental for achieving an unprecedented level of momentum for a now truly global risk management agenda,
  • By mid 2015, over 2'500 cities, from small towns to major world capitals, have joined the ,Making Cities Resilient Campaign" and signed up to commit to "Ten Essentials" of an urbanized version of the HFA,
  • Under the coordination of UNISDR, over 130 countries are reporting on their HFA implementation in the "HFA Monitor'', thereby creating a unique source of knowledge on the state of DRR. This trend is likely to grow further under the newly adopted SFDRR,
  • UNISDR coordinates and supervises the Global Assessment Report (GAR), a biennial assessment of DRR and a comprehensive review and analysis of the natural hazards that affect humanity,
  • Over the past two years, UNISDR has put major focus on inter-governmental consultations for a new post-2015 framework for DRR, which was adopted by governments at the Third UN World Conference on DRR in Sendai, Japan on 18 March 2015.
Results of Switzerland's engagement in previous phase
  • Priority standing of DRR in humanitarian and development policies,
  • Chairing of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) in Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) in together in Geneva over 3'500 participants and successfully launched the global process towards a post-2015 international DRR framework,
  • Hosting and funding of two Preparartory Conferences by Switzerland during 2014, which produced invaluable ground work for the World Conference in Sendai,
  • Promotion of "Geneve Internationals" as an international DRR hub,
  • DRR to have a high profile in SDG/Addis (financing for development), Climate Change and WHS processes.
  • Active participation of Switzerland in a number of UNISDR-related fora, including Chairmanship of the ISDR Support Group, Friends of UNISDR New York, the UNISDR Advisory Group and the "Bureau" of the Sendai World Conference,
  • Swiss OSCE Chairmanship: high-level involvement of UNISDR at the 22nd OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum in Prague in September 2014; theme: responding to environmental challenges with a view to promoting cooperation and security; key note speaker: H.E. Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, SRSG/UNISDR.
Medium-term outcome of organisation's current engagement
  • Reform and further development of effective, goal-oriented multilateral DRR governance mechanisms- an important post-2015 fit for purpose process that UNISDR has to be active part of,
  • Complexity of the inter-connectedness of various global post-2015 processes. How to keep focus, profile and measurable action-orientation,
  • The challenge of mobilising adequate resources for an ambitious action plan,
  • Finding a clear role for UNISDR in the post-Sendai multilateral architecture. Strong monitoring, supervision and guidance will be needed for all UN entities dealing with ORR-related issues (UNDP/CADRI, OCHA, WB/GFDRR, etc.) to avoid duplication and conflicting mandates (findings of Wilton Park, May 2014, still valid),
  • Developing common language and terminology as a means to reconcile Sendai, the post-2015 development goals and the climate change discussions. Common terminology and sharing of information can also help mainstream DRR across development and humanitarian activities, which will be helpful for shaping Switzerland's position with regard to DRR and resilience in various policy arenas including SDGs, UNFCC and the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May 2016,
  • Make DRR a priority for the wider UN system, ensure that the UN Plan of Action on DRR for Resilience translates into effective support to countries and communities, and contribute to relevant partnerships for achieving this goal, i.e. the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI).
Effect in Switzerland
  • Active support for UNISDR in fulfilling its coordination role in the post-Sendai era and help promoting political leadership in terms of commitment to the newly adopted Sendai Framework,
  • Strategic commitment to ensure inter-connectedness and coherence of the Sendai Framework with other post-2015 policy processes with a particular view on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) and the Climate Change Agenda (UNFCCC),
  • Promote clear roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders of the ISDR-system and closer collaboration/coordination among the main partners of the system- notably UNISDR, GFDRR, UNDP/CADRI, OCHA and IFRC,
  • An integrative approach of DRR supporting linkages between humanitarian response, sustainable development, environment and climate change,
  • Contributing Swiss good practices to the multilateral dialogue and a strengthened multilateral collaboration with SDC on regional level, including possibility of SDC secondments,
  • An efficient and effective UNISDR Secretariat.
Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   2'250'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   2'250'000
Switzerland's ranking in the DonorOrder

In 2014, Switzerland was number 3 in the donor ranking after the EU and Japan.

Donors

In 2014, UNISDR received contributions from 20 governments, 3 institutions (incl. WB, EU, Islamic Development Bank) and 4 private sector actors.

Coordination with other projects and actors

Synergies with like-minded donors such as the ,Nordics", the WB and the EU will be further explored.

Project phases Phase 18 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Current phase)

Phase 17 01.01.2015 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)

The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1999 following the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (1990–1999). Its mandate is to serve as the focal point in the UN system for coordinating DRR with the ultimate objective of avoiding and limiting loss of lives and economic damages.

Themes

Coordination

Under the coordination of UNISDR, over 130 countries are reporting on their implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA), thereby creating a unique repository of knowledge on the state of DRR. Regional, international, and civil society organizations alike use the HFA as their guide for programmes and policies and to improve understanding of risk reduction and resilience as a development objective.

Advocacy

It advocates greater investment in DRR to protect people’s lives and assets. UNISDR is the major UN driver in putting DRR on political agendas and the lead agency for renewing HFA in 2015.

Information and campaign

UNISDR is committed to build global awareness on the importance of DRR and to empower people to reduce community vulnerabilities to hazard impacts. It informs stakeholders involved in DRR by providing services and practical tools.

Results: Enhancing DRR activities at local and national levels

UNISDR has been running campaigns aimed at enhancing DRR activities at local and national levels. Among them are: education and youth, risk mapping for local communities, sustainable mountain development, water (floods and drought), learning from disasters, investment for disaster prevention, safe schools and safe hospitals. In February 2013 ISDR launched a HFA2 survey for the “Safe Cities” programme in preparation for the Global Platform. The programme “My City is Getting Ready!” is part of a DRR campaign to make cities resilient. It was launched in May 2010 and runs until 2015. Some 1,000 cities, from small towns to major world capitals, have signed up to commit to ‘Ten Essentials’ for an urbanized version of the HFA.

Switzerland’s commitment

SDC supported UNISDR since its creation and invested considerable efforts in strengthening the ISDR system. UNISDR is a main partner of SDC humanitarian aid. Switzerland actively participates in the ISDR support group in Geneva that it will serve as chair for the period mid-2014 – mid-2015 and is a member of the UNISDR donor group. Switzerland is also a member of the consultative group of the Global Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) of the World Bank (WB).

In its partnership with UNISDR, Switzerland seeks:

  • closer coordination among the main partner agencies of the system;
  • integration of a DRR perspective into development efforts;
  • strengthening of SDC multilateral collaboration at the field level including more secondments
  • promotion of an integrated approach toward DRR, which supports affected countries from emergency phase through early recovery to development. It also includes all relevant actors at the national, regional, and global level;
  • better thematic connectivity between climate change, natural disasters, and environmental emergencies;
  • a gender-inclusive approach to DRR.

Results: Focus on stakeholders’ responsibilities

Swiss strategic priorities focused on clear roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and closer collaboration among the main partners of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) system (notably UNISDR, Global Facility for DRR, UNDP/Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, IFRC, and OCHA). Switzerland also managed to promote an integrative approach to DRR, within its own institutional framework and beyond. It supports links between humanitarian response, sustainable development, environment, and climate change. Finally, Switzerland contributed to a strengthened, results-based, and more efficient UNISDR secretariat.

Challenges

New millennium development and sustainable development goals have to call upon all states as well as the international community to engage in risk-sensitive development. Harmonization is necessary in terminology and approaches such as protection objectives. Guidance on how to incorporate efficient and effective DRR in development cooperation must be elaborated in dedicated processes such as post-HFA. The strengthening of cooperation among UN agencies continues to be an agenda point to be addressed.

International Cooperation: A profession

40 short films portray UN employees in Geneva. Beneath the films, the favored language of subtitles (de, fr, en, it) can be selected.