On January 19, the International Recovery Forum 2022 concluded with a strong call to prioritize recovery preparedness and invest in resilience before disaster strikes.
The Forum, which brought together 400 participants and speakers from 65 countries, was held under the theme “Redesigning Systems for Resilience through Recovery”.
“In the current context of global pandemic, climate change and setbacks in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we must build on what we have learned about progress, challenges, enablers and barriers to “build back better,” said Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction in her opening message.
The event brought together experts to distill key lessons from recent disaster recovery experiences and set an agenda to improve disaster recovery outcomes for a resilient and sustainable future.
“It is important to build back better by integrating it into policies and regulations, and linking it to sustainable development,” said Mr. Kimio Takeya, Distinguished Technical Advisor on DRR, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in his opening speech.
A key recommendation was to invest more in recovery efforts with diversified funding arrangements. Efforts to build back better are too often undermined by a lack of funding, leaving affected communities with the same or worse disaster risk and diminished development prospects. A good example of a flood mitigation project in the Philippines was presented, which demonstrated that pre-investments in risk reduction provide multiple benefits, including reduction of floods, people affected and damage costs.
“More attention needs to be paid to strengthening systems before disaster strikes. Establishing and embedding desired recovery outcomes at the onset of a disaster can go a long way towards realizing those desired outcomes more quickly,” said Ms. Cynthia Spishak, Associate Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Analysis (OPPA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). ), UNITED STATES.
Experts also called for better alignment between recovery priorities, long-term resilience and climate goals and development plans.
“Recovery investments must be part of national multi-year budgeting and long-term sustainable development planning by governments,” added Ms. Paola Albrito, Chief, Intergovernmental Processes, Inter-Agency Cooperation and Partnerships, United Nations Office for disaster risk. Reduction (UNDRR).
The annual Forum was organized by the International Recovery Platform (IRP), a multi-stakeholder network and international mechanism for sharing experiences and learning on building back better among countries and all relevant stakeholders.
IRP Forum 2022 recommendations contribute to the mid-term review of the Sendai Framework and align with the theme of the 7th Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022) and the 5th World Reconstruction Conference (WRC5) to be held under the IRP banner in May this year.