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Preface

Preface

The present report is the outcome of a collaborative initiative between the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CEECIS), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) offices for Europe and Central Asia. The CEECIS region has a history of major disasters caused by natural hazards, including earthquakes, floods and extreme temperatures. These frequently devastating events affect all of the populations of the countries involved, with severe social and economic consequences for the most vulnerable people, children, women and elderly. However, the impact of these natural hazards could be drastically reduced if appropriate disaster risk reduction strategies at regional, national and community level were put in place. The aim of this report is to further contribute to the process of building resilience of nations and communities in the CEECIS region, providing an overview of the national situation vis-à-vis disaster risk reduction strategies.

Preface

Knowledge and education are recognized as key components of disaster risk management and were made a priority area in the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. Goal 2 of the Millennium Development Goals discusses the importance of primary education in lowering poverty, while Priority 3 of the HFA focuses on increasing resilience and building a culture of safety and resilience at all levels through the use of knowledge, innovation and education. Within this framework, and as part of the broader International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) partnership in disaster risk reduction (DRR), UN-

ISDR Europe and Central Asia offices and UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States regional office have agreed to join forces to support progress in this HFA priority area in the regions of South Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. This report was prepared in support of that initiative. The objectives are: to provide a brief overview of major hazards and disaster risk in the CEECIS region; to conduct a review of national disaster risk reduction structures and key legislation; to conduct a review of current disaster risk reduction activities related to education undertaken by national agencies and activities by UNISDR and UNICEF1; to conduct a review of on-going UNICEF country programmes and UNISDR activities to facilitate the effective implementation of disaster risk reduction initiatives, strategies and programmes. This report builds on the Hyogo Framework for Action, which is promoted and supported by UNISDR and UNICEF. It focuses on the importance of education in disaster prevention, as advanced in the 2006-2007 World Campaign on Disaster Reduction under the slogan Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School. It provides general information on national education and disaster risk reduction activities and makes recommendations on how to support and build on local and national initiatives to reduce the risk of disasters through education. The report is aimed at government representatives, United Nations and other actors, and practitioners operating in the context of education, disaster risk and sustainable development.

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5 1 Without being exhaustive or comprehensive, reference is also made to ongoing programmes related to education and DRR undertaken by UNCT.

Children and disasters: Building resilience through education

Children and disasters: Building resilience through education


Children and disasters