International Day for Disaster Reduction 2008

GLOBAL, 8 October 2008. The International Day for Disaster Reduction raises the profile of disaster risk reduction and encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more resilient communities and nations. This year the focus of the International Day for Disaster Reduction is on making hospitals and health facilities safe from disaster. The Day is being marked the world over by the United Nations, governments, organizations and the public. UNISDR, the WHO and national governments are working together to raise awarenss of disaster risk reduction on 8 October and launch new tools like the Hospital Safety Index.

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New York, USA
The global event will be a high level panel in New York featuring representatives of countries that have suffered major disasters, including China, and that have since focused closely on protecting critical infrastructure such as health facilities and schools. The event will also announce the launch of www.safehospitals.info as the global website of the Hospitals Safe from Disaster campaign.

Bangkok, Thailand
UNISDR with the ASEAN Secretariat will hold an Award Ceremony for a regional drawing competition called Safer Community - Hospital, School and House of My Dream, and organize a roundtable discussion on the issue.

Cairo, Egypt
UNISDR and partners will hold an event in Cairo involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders, from academic institutions and hospital directors, to civil society organizations. UNISDR and WHO will also launch the Campaign’s regional framework, a regional version of the Hospital Safety Index and a PSA.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Coordinating with UN Country Teams, UNISDR West Asia North Africa will plant trees and encourage tree planting by other UN Country Teams across the region to fight desertification, drought and climate change.

Islamabad, Pakistan
To mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction, Pakistan will hold its National Conference on Disaster Management and a two-day expo on disaster risk reduction, organized by the National Disaster Management Authority with the support of the South Asian Resources Centre.

Mpumalanga and West Cape, South Africa
The Government of South Africa will hold celebrations culminating on 16 October in Mpumalanga with a street parade and drama competitions. The Disaster Management Institute of Southern Africa is holding a major conference near Cape Town on 8-9 October.

Panama City, Panama and Washington, D.C., USA
UNISDR and the Pan American Health Organization will launch a photography contest on safe hospitals, and planning outreach activities with regional hospitals and health facilities to commemorate the day.

Tehran, Iran
The 3rd Economic Cooperation Organization Conference on Disaster Risk Management will be held 7-8 October, supported by UNISDR Secretariat. There will also be a knowledge fair and media training.