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Side Event: “Disaster-risk management and fostering resilience in SIDS and LDCs”

26 May, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 4:55 pm


The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are the most vulnerable countries with high concentration of disasters and other risks. They are also among the most exposed countries in the world. They are also disproportionately affected by various devastating natural disasters and face the highest potential losses associated with   hazards. The least developed countries (LDCs), in particular, are highly vulnerable to a variety of systemic shocks, including economic crisis, commodity price volatility, health epidemics and environmental shocks. SIDS, located in some of the most disaster-prone regions in the world, comprise two-thirds of countries with the highest relative annual losses due to disasters.

Climate change further magnifies disaster risk in these vulnerable countries,  exacerbating existing social and economic challenges, including food security, health, infrastructure, and poverty reduction, and place additional burdens on limited national budgets and resulting in major hurdles for progress towards sustainable development and achieving the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.

Despite significant gains in economic and social development in the last decade for SIDS and LDCs, these countries are at risk in the face of various external shocks including natural and climate related disasters which often translate into lower growth and higher poverty as well as fiscal, debt, and balance of payment pressures that complicate macroeconomic management and threaten development spending. Lacking relatively stable and strong fiscal revenues and domestic savings, SIDS  and LDCs often need to divert scarce public resources from essential social and economic development investments to address disaster-related needs, compromising the pace and scope of future growth. For many SIDS, limited fiscal space is further reduced by high debt burdens. This means that the fiscal space for growth-promoting investments is limited and further exacerbates volatility to external shocks and constraining long-term growth prospects.

To achieve sustained economic growth and eradicate poverty, managing the risk from external shocks is a high priority to both SIDS and LDCs. This requires both ex-ante and ex-post risk management including, improving forecasting capacity/early warning system, contingency planning, comprehensive response programmes and networks, investment in infrastructure, post-risk relief, contingency funds, catastrophic bonds, insurance, etc. The need to build resilience, strengthen monitoring and prevention and reduce vulnerability, raise awareness and increase preparedness and respond to and recover from disasters is therefore a critical aspect of Disaster-risk management and fostering resilience for SIDS and LDCs.


This side event will provide an opportunity to share experiences on disaster-risk management and foster resilience in Small Island developing states and Least developed Countries. It will showcase and evaluate some of the national, regional and global examples on disaster-risk management innovative approaches to foster resilience in SIDS and LDCs while highlighting the pertinent challenges faced by SIDS and LDCs to accessing the various mechanisms.

Guiding questions

Possible guiding questions could include the following:

  • What are some of the Disaster-risk management strategies used to foster resilience in SIDS and LDCs at the national, regional or global level? Are there capacity constraints in improving resilience and how can these be addressed?
  • How effective are the existing Disaster-risk management strategies and what major challenges are faced by SIDS and LDCs in implementing or accessing them?
  • How can the existing Disaster-risk management strategies be improved for the full benefit of SIDS and LDCs?

Format and participation

The side event is organized in a form of a panel discussion. Panellists will be drawn from organizations and country representatives that are working closely with SIDS and LDCs on Disaster-risk management, including representatives of civil society and the private sector. The panel will be followed by interactive discussion among all participants.

Tentative Schedule



4:00 pm – 4:05 PM

Welcome and opening remarks by OHRLLS

4:05 pm – 4:30 Pm


1.     Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, Principal SDG Coordinator, Prime Minister’s Office, People’s Republic of Bangladesh

2.     Mr. Dario Luna, Risk Management Specialist, Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF)

3.     Mr. Horace Glaze, Senior  Director, Preparedness and Response, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency

4.     Mr Tim Wilcox, Head, UNDSDR Pacific office

5.     Mr Mitchell Fox, Chief, Strategic Planning and Regional Affairs Coordination, ICAO



4:30 Pm  – 4:50 PM

Questions and open discussion

4:00 Pm  – 4:55 PM

Closing Remarks



26 May, 2017
4:00 pm - 4:55 pm