Humanitarian Disaster Risk Reduction and the Climate Crisis

Humanitarian Disaster Risk Reduction and the Climate Crisis

The impact of global climate change and the effects that are already noticeable today will undoubtedly play a major role in the coming years and will intensify the ecological, economic, social and political problems all over the world.

Risk drivers including climate change, conflicts, and environmental degradation are affecting the nature of risk and fragility of states. Hazards and shocks, including small to medium-scale crises, are becoming more frequent, intensive, and complex.

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) approaches are more cost-effective and ease pressure on strained humanitarian resources. Support for locally led action increases community ownership of interventions and contributes to social cohesion. These approaches enable local actors, communities and marginalised groups to conduct interventions to strengthen local risk management systems and reduce the humanitarian impacts of crises, including through advocacy efforts to address root causes of vulnerability from the local to the global level.

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe's approach

  • Better analysis and monitoring of risk: Facilitating collaboration between communities and technical agencies for the improved use of forecasts and risk monitoring brings improved capacity to predict hazardous events. More accessible and understandable early warning systems strengthen connections with first / last mile communities. Program screening tools contribute to protection of the environment.

  • Local actors and communities are ‘first and last responders’: DRR is a driver for localisation, enhancing the capacities of those receiving international assistance through locally led action. Being prepared, anticipating and acting ahead of the full impact of forecast or predicted hazards saves lives and protects livelihoods. Locally led anticipatory action and locally led adaptation also contribute to mitigating shorter-term humanitarian impacts of climate change and to strengthening the adaptive capacity for durable livelihoods for ensuring food security. Enabling local actors and communities to manage crises themselves (including through the provision of community microgrants / group cash transfers), enhances proactive self-mobilization by local structures, and strengthens resilience and self-reliance including improved protection and psychosocial wellbeing of those most vulnerable.

  • Ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’: DRR ensures more meaningful engagement of marginalised groups in disaster risk management planning to better utilize the knowledge, skills, and capacities these groups have to address inequalities, and maintain the dignity of those affected

Our approach to DRR is defined through our partnership working with local and international NGOs, and in collaboration with our associated networks, including ACT Alliance, the Anticipation Hub, the German Preparedness Working Group, GNDR, Local to Global Protection, REAP, and VOICE.

Transitioning from crisis to development

DRR contributes to the ability of people and institutions to adapt to new conditions and risk. It provides a bridge between humanitarian and development efforts by contributing to a nexus approach by strengthening resilience to transition from crisis, even in conflict settings. Strengthening resilience requires DRR throughout the continuum of disasters and crises. This includes locally led approaches for targeted measures, strengthening preparedness systems, anticipatory action for the window of opportunity ahead of a crisis, supporting community-led crisis response, and through the application of build back better approach in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.


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