International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) , October 13th 2022

International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) , October 13th 2022

The focus of this year’s International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) is on Target G of the Sendai Framework: “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.” In the announcement of this IDDRR, it was stated that the urgency to achieve this target was strengthened in March 2022 by the announcement made by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres that “the United Nations will spearhead new action to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years.”

This is timely as we are witnessing an escalation in climate disasters that causes damage and threatens livelihoods of people across the world. There are growing weather threats all across the world, hitting developed as well as developing countries. The countries of South Asia, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are exposed to a wide range of natural hazards, particularly cyclones, floods, earthquakes, and landslides. Additionally, 3 out of the 5 most vulnerable countries to climate change are located in South Asia Region (SAR)[1]. During the last decade, around 350 events – were reported in South Asia claiming around 45,000 lives and affecting over five hundred million, causing heavy economic losses of over seventy billion dollars for developing South Asian economies.[2]

Early warning is one of the key elements of disaster risk reduction. “Research shows that for every dollar spent on disaster early warning systems, the benefits range from $2-10.”[3] The open-ended inter-governmental expert working group on terminology relating to disaster risk reduction defines Early Warning as: “An integrated system of hazard monitoring, forecasting and prediction, disaster risk assessment, communication and preparedness activities systems and processes that enables individuals, communities, governments, businesses and others to take timely action to reduce disaster risks in advance of hazardous events”.[4]

It is recognised worldwide that EWS has the potential to reduce loss of life and damage to economic and ecological assets. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the Paris Agreement recognize the key role of early warning to minimize loss of lives and property and build resilience.[5] The seventh target of the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015 – 2030)[6], has pin-pointed EWS as a key to reducing mortality, and adds that it require stakeholders “to promote the further development of and investment in effective, nationally compatible, regional multi-hazard early warning mechanisms, where relevant, in line with the Global Framework for Climate Services, and facilitate the sharing and exchange of information across all countries”. Subsequent reports and studies[7] continue to emphasize the importance of effective EWS, that are backed up by effective risk governance and good communication systems.

Duryog Nivaran believes that effective EWS have to be inclusive: i.e. people-centred, and developed through a participatory process; tailored to the needs of users, including social and cultural requirements, in particular gender; and have effective and appropriate communication methods.

The next South Asia Disaster Report, being developed by Duryog Nivaran is titled, ‘Disasters and Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems in South Asia’, will be out this coming year.  Contributions from over 80 experts and practitioners on EWS in the region are reflected in this volume. It showcases research, perspectives and case studies on the topic. We believe that this will be a valuable contribution to inspiring and influencing effective and inclusive early warning systems.

It has organized the material in the following manner:

Do let us know if you would like to be alerted when the publication is out. You can write to [email protected]

[1] Climate Change Vulnerability Index.

[2] EM-DAT. 2019. Country-wise natural disaster occurrence in South Asia from 2010-2018.

[3] Pillai. P. World Bank Blogs. 2018. Managing climate risks in South Asia: A “bottom up” approach.


[5] World Meteorological Organisation. 2018. Multi-hazard Early Warning System: A Checklist. 2017.

[6] UNISDR. 2015. Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.


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