Disasters take a toll on people’s lives. Millions lose their homes and jobs because of extreme weather, and countries are impacted heavily by economic losses and potential environmental hazards.
In recognition of the United Nation’s Sendai Framework, a 15-year global initiative to reduce disaster risks, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has been mobilizing awareness campaigns in support of the world-wide humanitarian effort.
“Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is an investment in communities to reduce the negative impact of future disasters,” says Imad Madanat, vice president for programs at ADRA. “Helping high risk communities prepare for disasters protects persons, families, and communities from devastation, allows them to implement the recovery process faster, and restore their livelihoods and the community’s well-being.”
ADRA has six technical learning groups comprised of members within its network who advise and set policies for the agency to help address and respond to community development needs such as health, education, hygiene, and more. One of those groups is the Resilience Technical Learning Lab, or RTLL, which focuses on DRR. As the need for DRR rose around the world, so did the need for DRR to be addressed.
“We recognized the natural and man-made threats faced by communities around the world,” says Prabhook Bandaratilleke, RTLL chair. “ADRA’s presence in over 130 countries has opened an avenue for us to reach the unreachable and assist them in being more resilient to disasters. The RTLL is paving the way in building the capacity of ADRA’s network so we can provide support for communities even before disaster strikes.”
In June 2017, ADRA and its network offices in Asia came up with an approach to “inclusive community-managed disaster risk reduction” for the region. In its 2017 report, ADRA found that “in the Asia-Pacific region, half of the entire world-wide disasters, and over 70 percent of deaths were attributed to disasters.” As a result, the Asia-Pacific region incorporated DRR to build better recovery programs.