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It is my singular honour and privilege to welcome you all to the 2023 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. This has become an annual event scheduled for every 13″ October since 1989 when it was declared by the United Nations General Assembly. It is a special date to stress the culture of risk awareness and disaster risk reduction to enhance community resilience. Enhancing disaster resilience was further reiterated in May 2023 by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres through Political Declaration after the mid-term review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. He calls on countries “to embed risk reduction in all investments and development decisions to bolster resilience especially, for the most

vulnerable groups and persons”.

This year’s theme “Fighting Inequality for the Resilient Future” aligns with the inclusiveness position of the UN that “no one is left behind”. Hence we must come together to fight inequality in order to achieve inclusiveness. Inequality has been identified as a major index that is capable of stifling disaster resilience. This underscores the rationale that the UN in 2015 spells out Sustainable Development Goal No 10

which is to “Reduce inequality within and among countries”. The goal

has 10 targets to achieve in order to reduce global inequalities.

Ladies and gentlemen this 2023 international DRR day celebration is looking at the mutual relationship between disasters and inequality. Inequality and disaster vulnerability exist side by side. Unequal access to services, income inequality, unequal opportunities and discrimination, non adoption of fiscal policies that promote equality have exposed majority of global population, especially women, children, the aged ones, people living with disabilities to danger of


The developing countries and small island states have been recognised as facing inequality and therefore bear the adverse effect of disaster, especially the one induced by climate change. World Bank in one of it reports in 2022 shows that 75 percent of extreme weather events are currently connected to climate change fuelled by carbon emissions largely from the industrialised countries. It has been noted in Climate Adaptation Platform that the developing and small island states that contributed least to the challenge of climate challenge experience the greatest losses from disasters. It further stresses that inequality has facilitated the transfer of disaster risk from the developed/advanced countries that benefit from risk-taking to the

developing countries which bear the cost.

Ladies and gentlemen the sole aim of celebrating disaster risk

reduction day is to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and risk

reduction as we educate the general public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problem, and to

celebrate and reinforce achievement of humanity.

Poverty, inequality and discrimination are causes and consequences of growing disaster risk; inequality creates the condition that render people exposed and vulnerable to disasters. Disasters also disproportionately impact the poorest and most at risk people, thus worsening inequality. Thus reducing vulnerability to disasters

requires addressing these dimensions.

We can curb the destructive powers of these dimensions through careful planning that is designed to reduce people’s exposure and vulnerability to harm. The Sendai Framework for DRR calls for more dedicated action on tackling underlying disaster risk drivers such as poverty and inequality, as disaster risk reduction requires an all-of society engagement and partnership. It also requires empowerment and inclusive, accessible and non-discriminatory participation, paying attention to people disproportionately affected by disasters (the poorest,) It calls for integration of gender, aged, disability and cultural perspectives in all policies and practices while promoting women and

youth leadership in democratic processes.

Therefore there is a compelling need to include the challenges faced by people with disability and marginalised groups in disaster risk reduction planning an inclusive decision-making and disaster-resilient future for all. The UN DRR is therefore using the 2023 IDDRR to

raise awareness of the brutal inequality of disasters and call for fight

against inequality for resilient future.

The National Emergency Management Agency under my watch has introduced policies that seek to fight inequality in our interventions and activities. One of such is the creation of Gender, Vulnerable Group Care and Food and Nutrition Units, charged with the responsibilities of ensuring gender equality and addressing the challenges faced by all vulnerable groups in disaster risk management


On this note, I urge all stakeholders to join the conversation and promote the fight against inequality in order to build a resilient future. While wishing you a great celebration, let us take home this quote from the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: “Disaster risk reduction requires an all-of-society engagement and partnership. It also requires empowerment and inclusiveness, accessible and nondiscriminatory participation, paying special attention to people disproportionately affected by disasters, especially the poorest. Gender, Age, Disability and Cultural perspective should be integrated in all policies and practices, and women and youth leadership

programs should be promoted.”

Finally to promote a resilient future for our country, the time is now.

Thank you and God bless

Abdulkadir Kezo Ibrahim IkonAllah

Assistant chief Information Officer New Media

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