UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell's remarks at 2022 Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction

07 June 2022
Paula Ondi (front) raises her hand during class at Yosiba Elementary School (SD Inpres Yosiba) in Simporo, Papua Province, Indonesia, on 15 June 2021.
2021 UNICEF/UN0506301/Fauzan Ijazah

INDONESIA, 23 May 2022 — "The Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction comes at a critical time for children and young people as they face the immediate and long-lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Accelerating poverty rates. School closures and massive learning loss. Millions of children at greater risk of child marriage and child labor. A rise in anxiety and depression. 

"These are heavy burdens to carry into adulthood, especially for the most vulnerable children and young people, with girls often most affected. 

"Building back better means putting children and young people at the heart of the global COVID-19 response and recovery plans.   

"They should also be at the center of our efforts to reduce risk and build resilience from disasters, climate impacts, and humanitarian crises.  

"And these efforts must be both for children and young people and with them.   

"Young people are not just passive victims. They have an active role to play as leaders, collaborating and co-creating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation solutions. 

"To meet the targets of the Sendai Framework by 2030, UNICEF is calling on governments and other stakeholders to empower all children and young people, so they are educated, prepared, resilient, and able to meaningfully participate in key decisions and actions.   

"We also call for scaling up and accelerating public-private partnerships and investment in disaster-risk reduction measures centred on children and young people.  

"Finally, we call for greater investment in disaster-preparedness and resilience-building for other services that children depend on — including health, nutrition, education, WASH, child protection, and social protection. 

"UNICEF is committed to supporting efforts for every country to be protected and for every child to be resilient. Please join us as we work together to achieve this critical goal."


For more information on UNICEF's Disaster risk reduction and recovery work please visit https://www.unicef.org/environment-and-climate-change/disaster

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