Cambodia Seeks to Align National Disaster Strategy with SDGs, Sendai Framework, Paris Agreement
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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Cambodia, with support from UNDP and UNISRD, hosted a workshop to develop a DRR strategy for the 2019-2023 period.

Development of Cambodia’s national action plan for DRR will provide an opportunity to align with other resilience agendas, including the Sendai Framework for DRR, the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.

8 April 2019: Cambodia hosted a consultative workshop to improve its resilience and reduce disaster risk. The workshop addressed the development of a Strategic National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (NAP-DRR) for the period 2019-2023.

The workshop, which convened in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 5 April 2019, brought together representatives of government, the UN system and civil society. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) provided technical assistance to help develop the strategy, which is expected to prioritize and articulate guidelines and direction for stakeholders on DRR implementation in Cambodia over the next five years.

The workshop discussed the previous NAP-DRR 2014-2018 and related policies, with participants reflecting on successes, challenges and lessons learned during implementation. Following a mid-term review of the previous plan, recommendations going forward included an increased focus on sub-national level DRR and improved coordination. The review also identified challenges in aligning the NAP-DRR 2014-2018 with the SDGs, while underscoring that sustainable development is inextricably linked to effective DRR.

It is important to engage with vulnerable groups, including the poor, women and persons with disabilities, through an active national platform for DRR.

According to UNISDR, although poverty rate in Cambodia fell from 48% in 2007 to 14% in 2014, many development gains are at risk as a result of the country’s vulnerability to climate change, which the new strategy seeks to remedy.

Workshop participants said that development of the NAP-DRR 2019-2023 will provide an opportunity to align with national laws and guidelines, as well as with other resilience agendas, including the Sendai Framework for DRR, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs, all of which focus more on reducing, rather than managing, risk.

Participants discussed priority actions across five areas: understanding risk; disaster risk governance; investing in and financing DRR; enhancing preparedness and building back better; and ensuring coherence and inclusiveness.

Addressing workshop participants, Sanny Jegillos, UNDP, underscored the need for: a systems approach to DRR; ensuring that development activities build resilience; and involving all relevant ministries early in the strategy development process, through working groups or a joint governance structure, so that DRR is integrated into sector-specific strategies.

Reiterating the need for a whole-of-government response, Loretta Hieber Girardet, UNISDR, called for a national DRR platform to ensure engagement with vulnerable groups, including the poor, women and persons with disabilities, so that their needs and concerns are taken into account and they can help disseminate risk communication and guidance to hard-to-reach populations.

The event was the first in a series of consultative workshops to be held in the lead up to the endorsement and dissemination of the NAP-DRR 2019-2023 later in 2019. [UNDP News Story] [UNISDR Press Release]

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