On an average, 232 million people are affected by different types of disasters every year. In recent years disaster risks have been on the rise due to factors such as population growth, unplanned urbanization, environmental degradation, conflicts and competition for scarce resources, climate change, disease epidemics, poverty and pressure from development within high-risk zones. Hence, disaster risk reduction is the need of hour.
Recognizing the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction in 2005, 168 governments and all leading development and humanitarian actors signed the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), committing themselves to a ten-year multi-stakeholder and multi-sector plan to invest in disaster risk reduction as a means to building disaster-resilient societies.
Public awareness campaigns can be started modestly and tailored to meet the needs of specific populations and target groups. These approaches can be integrated into almost all existing initiatives, whenever and wherever they take place. They can build on and support existing volunteer mobilisation and peer-to-peer communications. To support this, it requires strong and unified disaster reduction messages and clear and targeted information, education and communication materials.