Liberia has been elected as West Africa’s representative on the African Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction.
The country was also elected as Second Vice Chairman on the continental Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction.
The election was held at the just ended 4ht High-level Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction and 7th African working group meeting at the Palace of Congress in Yaounde Cameroon to discuss Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa.
According to a release form the Internal Affairs Ministry, Liberia was represented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs through Deputy Minister Varney Sirleaf.
The meeting which took place July 21- 23, 2015 was attended by 45 countries with Representatives of 37 African governments.
The release said the participants agreed to work together to achieve substantial reductions in disaster losses over the next 15 years, including reductions in mortality, the numbers of people affected and the economic damage caused by natural and human-induced hazards.
The High Level Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction issued the Yaoundé Declaration requesting the Africa Union to lead on aligning Africa’s strategies with the targets outlined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, endorsed last month by the UN General Assembly.
Africa has suffered 131 droughts over the last 20 years and has also seen a sharp rise in other climate-related disasters including floods, storms and heat waves. Last year over 6.8 million Africans were affected by 114 major reported disasters.
Africa is the first continent to meet specifically to discuss how to achieve the targets of the Sendai Framework, adopted in March at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Focusing on reducing or eliminating disaster risk is crucial for the economic and social development of African countries.
The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, said the gathering signifies that Africa is setting the pace for the post-2015 Development Agenda through its clear statement of high-level commitment here today to achieving substantial reductions in disaster losses.
The Sendai Framework calls for a change in emphasis from managing disasters to managing disaster risk which is critical in a region where floods and storms are the main cause of recurring damage to schools, hospitals and other health facilities, the release concluded.