Women, LGBT people 'invisible' victims of disasters: experts

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A lack of data on the impact of disasters on women, girls and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is excluding them from relief efforts and damaging their ability to recover from shocks, experts said on Wednesday.

Cecilia Aipira, an adviser on disaster risk reduction at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said women and girls are most adversely affected by disasters, “but what is missing is the hard evidence of how they’re being affected”.

“As a result they remain largely invisible in relief and development programs,” she said at the launch of the Centre for Gender and Disaster at University College London on Wednesday. According to Mami Mizutori, the new chief of the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), “disasters do not affect people equally”.

“In many parts of the world more women die in disasters than men as a consequence of higher levels of poverty and other forms of discrimination,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sunil Pant, a Nepalese activist and former politician, said LGBT people also suffer more as a result of disasters and are often denied relief as “they do not fit the traditional family set-up of husband and wife”.“For example, I’ve seen Nepalese authorities refuse to certify that the houses of two transgender people that had been destroyed in the 2015 earthquake needed to be rebuilt,” he told the audience. Efforts to reduce disaster risks should do more to target LGBT people, Pant said.

“LGBT people in shock-prone countries like Nepal, India and Haiti have zero information on disasters. They’ve never taken part in earthquake drills and have no idea who to contact in case of an emergency,” he added. Read more via Thomson Reuters Foundation

Sendai Framework Monitor takes off

GENEVA, 8 March 2018 - One week after the launch of the new online tool, 50 countries have logged on with the intention of using the Sendai Framework Monitor to report on their disaster losses and efforts to increase national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction.

“Fifty countries have already logged in to the on-line Sendai Framework Monitoring System in one week, which is very encouraging,” it was confirmed today by Ricardo Mena, Chief of UNISDR’s Sendai Framework Implementation Branch.

“And 150 countries have officially informed us about the name of the focal point who will coordinate the reporting process, so we can expect many more countries to log in, in the next couple of weeks,” he said as he opened a two-hour training session in Geneva dedicated to help countries to use the new on-line tool.

The Sendai Framework Monitor system launched last week by the UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms. Mami Mizutori, is the first global on-line tool to monitor the implementation of the seven targets of the Sendai Framework, the global plan for reducing disaster losses by 2030, and a key instrument to help achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“The Sendai monitoring system is a dual reporting system that not only includes indicators to report on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework but also comprises eleven indicators associated with three main Sustainable Development Goals which are Goals 1-11- 13. The International community has been working for more than 25 years to come up with such a monitoring system and this is quite an achievement when we are all working together to make a more sustainable and resilient development,"said Julio Serge from the UNISDR Bonn office which runs the monitoring process. SDG1 is focussed on poverty eradication, SDG11, resilient cities and communities, and SDG13, climate action. Read more via UNISDR