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Civil Society critical in building resilience against disasters — coalition

The report was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Peter Akanimoh, GNDR’s Global Board Representative for West Africa.

The Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) has emphasised that the role of Civil Society Organisations was critical in building the resilience of societies against disaster.

This was contained in a report by GNDR on the outcome of the Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) held in Sendai, Japan, in March.

The report was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Peter Akanimoh, GNDR’s Global Board Representative for West Africa.

GNDR, which is a coalition of Civil Society Organisations globally, underscored the importance of collaboration to ensure implementation of the new framework on DRR.

The Sendai DRR framework was adopted to formulate and build on policies that would address substantial reduction of risk at all levels and building a resilient society against disasters.

The report quoted Akanimoh at the conference that “CSOs were dedicated to ensuring that the policies contained in the new framework was duly implemented.

“One of the strongest messages at the conference was the need to develop a resilient Africa and we noted and agreed that we cannot have a resilient Africa without a resilient civil society.

“We also identified political and governance failure as a reason for increased vulnerability and exposure of our people to disasters and climate risks.

“The inadequate capacities of CSOs however, plays a broad range of roles within Africa and we explored possibilities of multi-stakeholder cooperation.

“We would encourage and build cooperation between civil society and academia, civil society and private sector as well as with other stakeholders.’’

According to the report, GNDR lamented the inability of citizens to hold African governments accountable for political commitments to risk sensitive development planning and good governance as key drivers for a resilient continent.

It stated that the coalition had, however, pledged its commitment to enhancing local level impact and accountability for the DRR framework globally, ensuring the implementation of the seven target points for action.

“GNDR had a strong presence at the conference as a major group, organising partners, playing a leading role in advocacy around the inter-governmental negotiation process for the new international DRR framework.

“The network has come up with a “reality check campaign’’ which proposes a civil society plan of action for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR.’’

The report explains that the reality check campaign advocates for civil society to play six key roles to help in implementing the framework which includes being a connector, monitor, advocate, implementer, knowledge broker, and capacity builder.

It stated that GNDR proposed measures to be put in place by CSOs in various countries to engage national and local governments to implement the DRR framework.

“CSOs and NGOs should have a reality check together, sit down to identify activities, collaborate to use frontline, and share planned and ongoing activities among each other.

“All national networks across regions were encouraged to immediately begin implementing the reality check campaign as they would be provided advocacy support.’’

According to the report, the conference was a unique opportunity to demonstrate the possibility of networks to work together as a team.

Akanimoh, in the report urged networks to imbibe team spirit to enable them to work together with the government and other stakeholders to reduce and prevent disasters as well as build resilient communities against disaster.

He reiterated that the network would ensure that the gaps in the framework do not lead to shortcomings in impact for the most vulnerable.

NAN reports that the new framework was adopted at the Third World Conference on DRR held in Sendai, Japan, from March 14 to March 18, 2015.