Tuesday, October 11 – IDDR is a day to raise awareness about how people are taking action to reduce their risk to disasters and this year the spotlight is on children and young people and making them partners in disaster risk reduction.
The theme for this year is ‘Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction’. – The Virgin Islands will join the rest of the world in observing International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDR) on Thursday, October 13, which will focus on children and young people as partners of disaster risk reduction.
Children and young people are often perceived as victims of disasters rather than active agents of change who can make a real difference in terms of disaster risk reduction within their schools, households and within their communities.
According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) disaster risk reduction is about understanding the personal and environmental risks of a hazard, like an earthquake, flood, hurricane/cyclone, and landslides and finding ways to reduce this risk so that persons are not affected by them, or be able to recover quickly if they are affected.
Local activities in support of IDDR Day will include a message from the Minister of Education and Culture, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, to be aired on all local radio and television stations throughout the day. In addition, the DDM will present a special edition of its television programme Focus and a DDM radio segment, which will highlight a discussion with students and young people across the Territory about what can be done to help reduce the risk to disasters from earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, landslides, and other phenomena.
IDDR Day has been celebrated locally since 1989, when the United Nations General Assembly designated the second Wednesday of October as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction. In 2009 the United General Assembly designated October 13 as the International Day for Disaster Reduction. The day is observed as a vehicle to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
For more information on International Day for Disaster Reduction visit www.unisdr.org.