At the frontline in disasters and disaster risk reduction

19th May 2017

 

Churches pay witness to disasters whether human-induced or natural.   The shared mission of bringing the Good News of solidarity, service, compassion and love to those affected, regardless of their faith, is central to very existence of ACT Alliance and its members.  Devastation is not part of the calling of Churches. Ours is a calling to life and life at its fullest.

Churches have for years used their resources and social capital to build the resilience of communities, provide early action where necessary to avoid disasters. We stand at the frontline of service delivery where emergencies arise.

ACT Alliance engages in making sure that the community of nations and governments commit to risk prevention, risk reduction, preparedness and humanitarian action to ensure that we avoid loss of lives and assets in all their forms.  This is why ACT Alliance has been engaging in the processes leading up to the formulation of the Sendai Framework of Risk Reduction and its review process via the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction that will be held on 22-26 May 2017 in Cancun, Mexico.

We journey to Mexico not only to celebrate gains as we recognize the successes of partners in risk reduction work, but also to continue our advocacy because the work is not yet done.  In 2015, during the formulation of the Sendai Framework on DRR, ACT Alliance lobbied hard to ensure that nations committed to addressing vulnerabilities (i.e. inequalities, poverty among others) as these are left unaddressed.

Vulnerability is a key element that contributes to disaster risk along with hazards and exposure.  Sadly, vulnerabilities do not seem to be addressed effectively and efficiently. ACT Alliance, once again, calls on governments and other stakeholders to identify and address vulnerabilities by increasing investments (in all forms) in building resilience.  In the process, we also call on the various stakeholders to recognize the key role that faith-based organizations can play in risk prevention and reduction, preparedness and humanitarian action.

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Jessica Dator Bercilla works for ACT member Christian Aid