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Press release from Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Need to invest in resilience and reducing risk key topics as Head of UNDRR meets with Swedish State Secretary


The Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Special Representative Ms. Mami Mizutori made an official visit to Sweden on May 3, 2019. As Swedish State Secretary for Development Cooperation, Mr. Per Olsson Fridh, met with Ms. Mizutori they agreed on the need to invest in risk reduction and resilience building to reduce the effect of natural disasters.

Those who suffer the most from disasters are the poorest and the most vulnerable. This was also the theme at the seminar “Leave no one behind” yesterday at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

“Disaster risk reduction is at the heart of the world’s most pressing concerns: climate change, displacement, urbanization, pandemics, long-drawn-out crises as well as financial systems collapse” says Mr. Olsson Fridh and adds:

“We share these risks. And therefore, it is of greatest importance that we as a world community work together to address them. The multilateral system must work efficiently to do so and do it in a way that we reach the most vulnerable.”

During her visit, Ms. Mizutori also met with many of the key actors on Disaster risk reduction in Sweden: Sida, MSB, civil society, academia and experts.

Again and again, we are painfully reminded of the impact of natural disasters, most recently by the cyclones Idai and Kenneth leaving more than thousand people dead and many more displaced and in need of food, shelter and health care.

The connection between climate change and natural disasters can no longer be neglected. Sweden was quick to support the response in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi with some additional 126 million SEK for food, water, shelter and other humanitarian assistance.

“Investing in risk reduction and resilience building to prevent disasters occurring and reducing their effect if they do is just smart, informed development. Investing in reducing risk up front can dramatically impact on recovery and response costs if a disaster does occur” says Ms Mizutori.

Ms. Mizutori’s visit to Sweden was a good opportunity to discuss the importance of disaster risk reduction, resilience and sustainable development before the upcoming high-level meetings Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in May and the Climate Summit in September.

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) works towards the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses to ensure a sustainable future. UNDRR (formerly known as UNISDR) is the focal point of the United Nations system for disaster risk reduction and the custodian of the Sendai Framework, supporting countries and societies in its implementation, monitoring and review of progress.

About Disaster Risk Reduction
Disaster risk reduction (DRR) aims to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk, strengthening the resilience of people, systems and approaches. DRR sits at the heart of the world’s most pressing concerns: climate change, displacement, urbanization, pandemics, protracted crises and financial systems collapse. Extreme change is taking place in planetary systems, and we must act to ensure a safe, healthy future for all.

Press contact

Hanna Hessling
Press Secretary to Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00