The United States thanks the Government of Indonesia and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction for hosting the Seventh Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. We also applaud the efforts of all participants in this platform toward advancing the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to prevent new disaster risks and reduce and manage existing risks.
Disasters are occurring with greater frequency and severity—their impact is more devastating, enduring, and costly. Climate change is a major threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Over 6,600 climate-related disasters were recorded between 2000 and 2019. President Biden has called the climate crisis “the number one issue facing humanity.”
Conflict around the world also increases disaster risks. Widespread displacement and insecurity push people into more hazard-prone areas and affect their physical and mental health.
The compounding effects of climate change, conflict, and the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the need for collective action and new strategies as a global community. We must fund sustainable solutions to address growing humanitarian needs and strategically invest to reduce disaster risks.
We must also work together to reduce the most catastrophic impacts of disasters and support adaptation to climate change. These efforts will help reach our common goal outlined in the Sendai Framework: scaling up and mainstreaming resilience in a world of compounding, cascading, emergent and systemic disaster risks.
The United States aspires to lead by example and set ambitious targets. At COP26, President Biden launched the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience, which will serve as the cornerstone of U.S. government efforts to help countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change. As part of this plan, the President announced that he will work with the U.S. Congress to provide $3 billion in adaptation finance annually by FY2024. This will be the largest U.S. commitment ever made to reduce climate impacts on those most vulnerable to climate change worldwide.
The U.S. Agency for International Development also recently released itsClimate Strategy, which will guide the agency’s efforts to confront the most urgent demands of the climate crisis such as climate risk reduction. USAID’s Climate Strategy also begins long-term, transformative changes for the agency through equitable and ambitious actions in international development and humanitarian assistance programs.
As these larger policy plans unfold, the United States is also engaged in many technical and development assistance projects around the world to reduce impacts of disasters and tackle the global climate crisis.
The U.S. Geological Survey works in collaboration with USAID to operate the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program and the Earthquake and Landslide Disaster Assistance Teams, which make use of USGS scientific and technical expertise to support USAID’s volcano, earthquake, and landslide disaster response and capacity-building activities abroad. USGS and NASA imagery from the Landsat satellite and other remote sensing data contributes to drought monitoring for the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network.
USAID and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are partnering with countries to improve early warnings of climate and weather hazards through the Weather Ready Nations Initiative. This program is increasing observations and prediction of climate, weather and water related hazards, developing multi-hazard early warning systems, and advancing local capacity that will help participating countries anticipate extreme weather and climate impacts to save lives and property and enhance livelihoods.
U.S. Peace Corps volunteers are working to support disaster preparedness, climate smart agriculture and help local communities around the world to strengthen climate DRR and change adaptation.
The United States is also focused on domestic efforts to improve disaster preparedness and resilience. For example, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is advancing efforts to ensure more Americans are covered by flood insurance and making insurance affordable to low- and moderate-income policyholders through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Lastly, as we consider global efforts to reduce risks and increase resilience, we need to be mindful to form inclusive partnerships. To be most effective, we have to think beyond what we will do to address disaster risks and consider who we will empower to implement solutions.
While the world’s most powerful have the tools at hand to mitigate disaster risk, it is the world’s most vulnerable – particularly children, women, and those caught in or displaced by disasters or conflict – who so often suffer the most. We urge all stakeholders to prioritize active collaboration with women and girls, indigenous peoples, youth, and non-governmental organizations – recognizing the critical importance of including those who face the brunt of disasters and the climate crisis in the identification or problems and implementing locally-led and resilient solutions.
Again, we thank the Government of Indonesia and UNDRR for convening the Seventh Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction. This Platform is an important opportunity to engage on issues that are critical for protecting each other, our communities, and our planet, and the United States looks forward to being part of international dialogue and solutions.