International governments fail on strong disaster risk reduction agreement

Emergencies, Humanitarian Advocacy, Media Releases, News article written on the 19 Mar 2015

Despite an impassioned plea from the President of Vanuatu at the Disaster Risk Reduction world conference in Japan earlier this week, international governments  last night adopted a framework that is not up to the task of dealing with the increasing risk of disasters to the world’s poor.

Among the agreement’s shortcomings is the failure to agree concrete commitments by wealthy countries to increase funding to poor nations to help them build their resilience to disasters.

As the Vanuatu Government and aid agencies continued to coordinate and deliver aid to people in Vanuatu last night, Governments at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Sendai, Japan, negotiated and adopted a flimsy and unambitious agreement that commits no additional financial or technical support to developing countries to help them protect themselves from the impact of weather disasters.

Oxfam Chief Executive Helen Szoke said the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was supposed to be a global plan to build the resilience of communities to disasters over the next 15 years and lead to bolder commitments on disaster risk reduction, but that was not what had resulted overnight.

“The Vanuatu Government and aid agencies are on the ground in Vanuatu working to pick up the pieces after the devastation of Cyclone Pam and it’s very disappointing that wealthy governments still could not see benefit in stronger action and better funding for disaster risk reduction,” Dr Szoke said.

You can support Oxfam’s response to humanitarian crises by donating to our Cyclone Pam Appeal at or by calling 1800 034 034

For interviews with Dr Szoke, or with Oxfam’s staff on the ground in Vanuatu, please contact John Lindsay on +61 (0) 423 456 046 or