United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has a big ambition: to help decision makers across the globe better understand and act on risk. Our mission is to provide leadership and support to accelerate global efforts in disaster risk reduction to achieve inclusive sustainable development and the goal of the Sendai Framework.

Agency Overview

UNDRR’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (UNDRR ROECA) covers 55 countries. Aiming to reduce existing risk – and prevent new risks – UNDRR shares best practices, convenes partners, and provides technical support and capacity building for building resilience to disasters at local, national, and regional levels.

UNDRR is the custodian of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, an international agreement working hand-in-hand with the UN Agenda 2030. The Sendai Framework is an ambitious global agreement that aims to substantially reduce disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries. It provides Member States with concrete actions to protect development gains from the risk of disasters caused by natural or manmade hazards, as well as related environmental, technological, and biological hazards and risks.

The Global and Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction are the main fora to share knowledge and discuss the latest developments and trends in reducing disaster risk, identify gaps and make recommendations to further accelerate the implementation of the Sendai Framework. In Europe and Central Asia, the regional platform is the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR) with a secretariat composed by the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the host country of the next platform and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

Services and Programs

  • UNDRR ROECA supports stronger regional and national risk governance efforts. It builds on a strong regional network of authorities responsible for disaster risk management across all 55 Member States in Europe and Central Asia, operationalized through National Sendai Framework Focal Points who drive the work at country level and with whom UNDRR engages and collaborates in its daily activities.
  • At a country level, UNDRR ROECA supports efforts by national and local actors to accelerate implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction across 4 key priority areas for resilience building: risk understanding, risk governance, risk financing and disaster preparedness. In parallel, as the lead agency for DRR in the UN system, UNDRR ROECA engages actively in 17 UN Country Teams as signatory of country UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks.  
  • UNDRR ROECA convenes the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR), the main regional forum for its 55 Member States to address regional disaster risk challenges, agree on commitments and review progress on the regional roadmap for disaster risk reduction.
  • Actively engaged with the European Union and other regional partners, UNDRR ROECA supports work at local, national, and regional levels taking actions to reduce disaster risks and invest in prevention.

 

Key Areas of Work

Contact

Official websites: 
www.undrr.org
www.preventionweb.net
Twitter handles:
@UNDRR_ECA | @UNDRR | @HeadUNDRR
Address: 37-40 boulevard du Régent, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium.
Telephone: +32 (0)2 736 59 42 
Reach us at: [email protected]

Publications and Reports

Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (2023 HIGHLIGHTS)

2022 Annual Report: Gain insights into our achievements, challenges, and impact over the past year.

Research Papers: Access our comprehensive research papers on various topics related to our agency’s work.

Policy Briefs: https://www.undrr.org/publications/policy-briefs and https://www.undrr.org/publications/words-into-action. Explore concise summaries of our policy recommendations and key findings.

Risk Governance

  • UNDRR ROECA offers support to 55 Member States in its constituency to develop, update, and implement national and local DRR strategies. It also supports the development of National Platforms for DRR as coordination mechanisms, ensuring multi-stakeholder engagement in building resilience at a national level.
  • UNDRR ROECA also encourages strengthened sub-regional cooperation for DRR by supporting institutional strengthening and capacity-building with organizations including the Center for Emergency Situations and DRR (CESDRR) in Central Asia and the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South-East Europe (DPPI-SEE).
  • Through the Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) initiative, and in line with the UN Agenda 2030 – especially UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, ‘Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ – UNDRR supports local and urban resilience building to make cities safer, prevent risks and promote innovation and investments. A number of UN agencies collaborate under the scope of MCR2030, enhancing coherence and effective engagement as One UN.

Risk Knowledge

  • UNDRR ROECA supports countries to collect data for the INFORM Risk Index, a global, open-source risk assessment tool for humanitarian crises and disasters. INFORM advises regions and countries making decisions about prevention, preparedness, and disaster responses. So far, the Index has been adapted at sub-national level in Central Asia, the South Caucasus and South-East and Eastern Europe.
  • UNDRR ROECA also assists Member States – including their disaster management and statistics offices – to better understand and use risk data to inform disaster risk management decision-making. This includes reporting on global and national Sendai Framework implementation progress and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets through the Sendai Framework Monitor.
  • UNDRR ROECA also collects and analyzes historical damage and loss data through disaster loss databases, such as the DesInventar-Sendai system, an open-source disaster information management system, or the new disaster and losses tracking system. UNDRR, UNDP and WMO are collaborating to develop this new hazardous event and disaster losses and damages tracking system, which will replace the existing DesInventar with a more comprehensive and interoperable tracking system that will cover both hazardous events, as well as disaggregated losses and damages at localized scales.
  • UNDRR ROECA convenes the European Science & Technology Advisory Group (E-STAG), which provides scientific and technical support to European and Central Asian countries on implementing the Sendai Framework and other relevant frameworks, in close collaboration with the European Commission Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre (DRMKC).
  • UNDRR ROECA leads the development of UN-wide guidance documents and publications to share best practices on disaster risk reduction and management throughout the region – and beyond. Its Regional Assessment Report for Europe and Central Asia is available here.
  • UNDRR, alongside the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), are designated by the UN Secretary-General as co-leads of the Executive Action Plan to implement the Early Warnings for All initiative, which aims for every person on Earth to be protected by early warning systems by 2027. Under the Action Plan, different organizations lead the implementation of the four elements or pillars that make up the early warning chain. Pillar 1: Disaster risk knowledge, is led by UNDRR. UNDRR ROECA is focal point for UNDRR implementation of the initiative in the region.

Financing Prevention

  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction identifies investing in disaster risk reduction as one of its four priority actions. Our goal is to support countries in accessing more financing for prevention, while at the same time, helping the public and private sectors to de-risk investments and reorient financial flows for increased resilience.
  • More information, including publications and guidance tools can be found here: https://www.undrr.org/implementing-sendai-framework/catalyze-investment-in-resilience

Resilient Infrastructure

  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction aims at substantially reducing disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, while Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG9) requires building resilient infrastructure.
  • Yet, the current approach to designing and building infrastructure does not sufficiently integrate disaster risk reduction at a time when risks are rising and becoming more complex. 
  • More information on guidance and technical resources can be found here: https://www.undrr.org/enhance-infrastructure-resilience

 Stakeholder Engagement

  • The UNDRR Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism (UNDRR-SEM) serves as an inclusive platform, fostering active participation of stakeholders in implementing the Sendai Framework across various global, regional, and national policy initiatives. Within the mechanism, non-State stakeholders actively engage in intergovernmental decision-making processes and policy formulation by accessing relevant intergovernmental events and processes, with a focus on integrating disaster risk reduction into the broader 2030 Agenda. UNDRR SEM includes the collective convening and advocacy abilities of Major Groups and Stakeholders (MGoS) to facilitate the seamless integration of disaster risk reduction strategies within the broader policy landscape.

 Private Sector Engagement

  • ARISE was started by UNDRR in 2015 to bring the private sector on board to become a key disaster risk reduction partner. It has grown to over 350 members and has over 20 networks across the world. Key priorities include enhancing SMEs’ resilience, integrating disaster and climate risk into investment decisions by the financial sector, incentivizing disaster risk reduction and enhanced data for risk-informed decision-making, and supporting resilient infrastructure development.

Advocacy

  • Our communications and advocacy campaigns call for taking action today to protect people and prevent disasters from happening.
  • UNDRR ROECA mobilises on the annual International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on 13 October to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction and World Tsunami Awareness Day on 5 November through a communications campaigns with events and contests across the region.

Conclusion

At UNDRR, we envision a world where disasters no longer threaten the well-being of people and the future of the planet. Sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda cannot be achieved without working towards that goal of building resilience.

It’s time to break the cycle of disaster > response > dependency > repeat. This means switching the focus from managing disasters to managing risk. Bringing about that conceptual shift, not only within governments but across ‘all of society’, in the way we live, build, plan, and invest, is core to our work at UNDRR.

Find out more about UNDRR and its work: https://www.undrr.org/

Additional information:

Partnerships

The EU is an important partner of UNDRR, celebrating a decade-long partnership on disaster preparedness assistance, fostering the integration of disaster risk reduction as a priority action in the disaster preparedness and humanitarian agenda at the local and community level.

Support and Funding

UNDRR would like to acknowledge its core donors for their support: Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Implementation of UNDRR ROECA’s 2023 workplan was further funded with earmarked support from USA, Japan, and Kazakhstan as well as the EU.

Accountability and Governance

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction is a global organization with a presence in various parts of the world. We have a core staff based in our headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and regional and liaison offices supporting Member States around the world to build a safer, more resilient future for all. More information on the organization’s governance and structure can be found here: https://www.undrr.org/our-work/our-team