Disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistanceSubscribe to RSS feed

Key Commitments:

Following the 2004 Tsunami the G8 Gleneagles Response to the Indian Ocean Disaster, and Future Action on Disaster Risk Reduction pledged to improve the timeliness, predictability, effectiveness and availability of humanitarian assistance, a commitment reiterated at the Hokkaido Summit Leaders Declaration. Leaders committed to explore the potential of risk insurance mechanisms in the 2004 Sea Island Ending the Cycle of Famine in the Horn of Africa statement, while Heiligendamm's Summit Declarationon Growth and Responsibility in Africa focused on response to disasters in fragile states and post-conflict emergencies.

Humanitarian assistance and disaster risk reduction has been a central feature in a number of EU-AU partnership declarations. Humanitarian assistance policy on Africa waslaid out in the 2000 Cotonou Agreement, while the Cairo Plan of Action, resulting from the AU-EU summit of the same year, pledged to establish disaster prevention and preparedness mechanisms and strengthen cooperation in the area. This theme was continued in the 2005 European Consensus on Development, with additional focus on the EU's role in fragile states to bridge short-term humanitarian assistance and long-term risk reduction, further reiterated in the EU Strategy for Africa , in the context of post-conflict situations. The 2007 Strategy on Aid for Trade pledged to build further on finance mechanisms in response to shocks as part of its development financing strategy.

Under the auspices of the United Nations, commitments havefocused on post-disaster assistance. The Millennium Declaration, for example, highlights the protection of civilians andchildren in natural disasters and complex emergencies, while the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development emphasises humanitarian response to conflict disasters. More recently, the 2008 Declaration of the High-Level Conference on World Food Security under the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) pledged the continued delivery of emergency food aid and humanitarian assistance, with the theme of linking with longer-term measures.

In Africa, the AU Sirte Declaration on the Challenges of Implementing Integrated and Sustainable Development on Agriculture and Water in Africa, 2004 committed to establish and enhance early warning systems at regional level, and improve coordination at the continental level to counter the negative impacts of natural disasters.