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Deputy Secretary-General Links Gender, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change

© UN20 April 2009: In a statement delivered to the International Conference on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction, UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro highlighted links between the issues of gender, disaster risk reduction, climate change and poverty reduction. The Conference, which was organized by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UN/ISDR), convened from 20-22 April 2009, in Beijing, China.

Underlining the vulnerability of the poor to natural hazards and their lack of resilience to the impact of disasters and climate change, Migiro stressed that women, who constitute 70% of the world's poor, are disproportionately impacted by disasters. She warned that climate change is expected to exacerbate this suffering, as well as threaten food security, health and water supplies. Stressing the need to invest in disaster preparedness, Migiro said strengthening local and national strategies and mechanisms is essential. Migiro called for a “21st Century multi-stakeholder partnership” to mitigate the growing scourge of disasters. [UN press release]