13 October 2019

In recognition of the dedicated efforts of countries, communities and people worldwide to prevent and reduce disaster risks, the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) is celebrated every October 13. IDDR represents a global platform for raising awareness, knowledge sharing and promotion of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, a global action framework for building resilience to disasters.

Worldwide, many communities are affected by extreme weather events and other natural hazards. Disasters cause devastating impacts on vulnerable population and local communities and impede progress towards development and poverty reduction.

In the coming decade, the world will invest trillions of dollars in new housing, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure. Climate resilience and disaster risk reduction must be central to this investment to minimize economic and human development losses.

Despite having invested a substantial amount of resources in disaster prevention and preparedness, people and communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) are still exposed to disasters that frequently result in high-costs of recovery. The diverse impacts of future disasters threaten to decelerate BiH efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and limit the possibility to invest in health, education, social protection and other important public needs. While a dedicated disaster management sector is first on the line of disaster response, managing disaster and climate risks requires a shared commitment by BiH authorities at all levels, civil society organizations, private sector, academia and people.

Therefore, a comprehensive approach to prevention and preparedness to disaster risks in BiH cannot be separated from the broader social and economic development. It requires the strengthened engagement of all sectors to minimize future risks, increase potentials for safe development and demonstrate accountability towards people, especially the poor and marginalized groups.

The Ministry of Security of BiH and relevant authorities at all levels together with the United Nations (UN) agencies and the international community in BiH pledge long-term commitment and partnership in increasing disaster resilience across the country. Through partnership and common actions, the aim is to accelerate implementation of the Sendai Framework through strengthening DRR coordination mechanisms, supporting innovative risk assessment tools and processes, enhancing the resilience of local communities with hazard-proof infrastructure and supporting DRR governance systems.

Joint endeavour and support from various stakeholders to address key DRR priorities across various sectors (e.g. protection and rescue, education, social and child protection, health, agriculture and other) in forthcoming period should contribute in creating a safer, resilient and sustainable environment for all citizens of BiH.