Humanitarian Health Action

Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015 - 2030

Health is at the centre of new global plan for disaster risk reduction

Ten years since adopting the Hyogo Framework for Action in Kobe shortly after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Government representatives gathered in Sendai, Japan on 14-18 March to negotiate a new framework for global action to reduce the risks of disasters. For the first time, protecting people's health is at the centre of such a framework.

“In the 10 years since Hyogo, governments have increasingly recognized that healthy people are resilient people, and that resilient people recover much more quickly from emergencies and disasters," says Dr Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director General for Emergencies at the World Health Organization (WHO). "Recent and ongoing disasters – from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to the Ebola crisis in West Africa – highlight the centrality of human health to our collective goals in disaster risk reduction by all sectors."

WHO presented 4 areas of commitment to support countries to translate the goals of the new international framework negotiated at the 3rd World Conference on Disease of Risk Reduction into stronger action for health. WHO has designed a new policy framework Reducing Health Consequences of Emergencies and Disasters: A Risk Management Policy Guide to help countries to effectively manage emergency risks and reduce their health consequences. Recognizing the importance of multi-hazard early warning systems to disaster risk reduction, WHO renewed its commitment to help all Member States achieve their core capacities to detect, assess, notify and respond to epidemics and other public health threats under the International Health Regulations (2005).

WHO has also released a new Comprehensive Safe Hospital Framework and launched the Hospital Safety Index (2nd Edition) to make hospitals safe and operational in disasters, which was one of the key targets under discussion in Sendai. WHO’s collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to establish the WHO-WMO Climate and Health Office and implement the Global Framework for Climate Services to meet the climate information needs of the health sector will also contribute significantly to reducing risks to health of extreme weather and climate-related hazards and climate-sensitive diseases.