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Mar 2, 2023

D.R.R.: Including the Most Vulnerable in the Decision Making Process

Inclusion is viewed as the key to essential disaster risk management and reduction. Women, children, youths, the elderly, the indigenous population and persons living with disabilities are among the most affected by disasters at the local level. As a result, their voices play an important role in the creation of national and local strategies. The U.N.D.R.R. agency has cited inclusion as one of its priorities and now women, children, youths and persons with disabilities are playing a more active role in high level meetings.  News Five’s Paul Lopez takes a closer look at the U.N.D.R.R.’s inclusive agenda through the lenses of those most vulnerable.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

“Nothing About Us Without Us” is the motto upon which disability inclusion in disaster risk reduction is founded. Persons living with disabilities are often disproportionately affected by disasters. Many are logistically isolated. Therefore, persons with disabilities must be fully engaged in the development of national and local strategies.


Giovanna Osorio Romero

Giovanna Osorio Romero, Founder/President, KIPU LLAXTA

“The significance is to eliminate all the factors that hinders people with disabilities. For example, eliminating internal `barriers of communication, architecture, urbanization, as well improvement in participation in the processes and local programs. The participation of persons living with disabilities need to be taken into account in the creation of clear symbols.”


Over the past five years, great strides have been made towards including persons with disabilities in the decision making process at the regional, national and local levels. Notwithstanding the progress being made, there still exist challenges pertaining to communication, evacuation, and preparations. Women have also been demanding a seat at the table. The Women’s Network for Disaster Risk Reduction, with one thousand members, has created a unified voice women in DRR.


Daniela Beltrame

Daniela Beltrame, Gender Consultant, UNDRR

“Women are not a homogeneous group, we are not just one thing. So, our diversity, all of the intersections of our identities should be present in these spaces. One of the main reasons and one that we are exploring right now and working with is the fact that we are not only working in the productive sphere, out of the home and the economic sphere, but we also have what is known as double and triple burden. We have socio-community tasks and obligations, societal cultural obligations, but that means we are closer to the ground. Our ears are always on the ground, the fact that we have historically had the burden of care and responsibilities means that we understand our communities.”


At the regional level there is also representation among the youth population. The Youths for Disaster Risk Reduction has, however, been demanding that their concerns and vulnerabilities are taken into greater account at a national and local level.


Rebecca Freitag

Rebecca Freitag, Youth Representative, UN Major Group Children and Youth (File: December 13th, 2021)

“It was eight o’clock in the night when max was woken up by his mother who said, the flood is coming, you have time to pack three favorite toys in your bag pack and then we need to leave the house maybe forever. Max family who is seven years old, he was lucky. He was saved last minute. But, one hundred thirty three people did not, they died that night. The children I met in the flood area of Germany are traumatized and they don’t want these scenarios every again. But, let us face it we have to integrate it into our future. For how many floods, how many heat waves, how many pandemics, how many dried up rivers, crops failures, climate migration do we have to prepare?”


Mami Mizutori

Mami Mizutori, UN Special Representative, D.R.R.

“If it doesn’t reach the most vulnerable people in the most remote areas who may not even speak the common language of the country then we are not being successful.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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