UK to Integrate Disaster Resilience into Development Programs

A search and rescue team from the U.K. work in heavy snow in the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan. Efforts to help developing countries become more resilient against natural disasters and conflict will be integrated into all the country's aid programs by 2015. Photo by: Ed Hawkesworth / DFID / CC BY

Efforts to help developing countries become more resilient against natural disasters and conflict will be integrated into all U.K. country aid programs by 2015, the Department for International Development announced Wednesday (June 15).

The move is in line with the United Kingdom’s efforts to put more effective disaster response at the core of its work in its priority partner countries. It is also part of the changes DfID is implementing in response to an independent review of the U.K. humanitarian response system.

The review, which was led by Lord Paddy Ashdown, urged the U.K. government to put humanitarian concerns at the core of DfID’s programming. The review also recommended that DfID establish a closer and more integrated relationship between its development work and the way it responds to global humanitarian crises.

>> Independent Review Urges Closer Ties Between UK Development, Humanitarian Work

“The Humanitarian Emergency Response Review makes a number of other key recommendations, and in our response we set out how we intend to take these forward,” U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said. “A new emphasis on accountability and transparency will underpin our work with partners, as will a new focus on demonstrating impact. We will expand our own capacity to deal with humanitarian issues and our new work on resilience, ensuring it is championed at the most senior level.”

Chief among the changes DfID will implement in line with the review is to invest more resources to build stronger resilience in partner countries, starting with Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Bangladesh and Nepal. The department also eyes placing resilience at the core of its work in Pakistan, Niger, Chad, Southern Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and other recipients of U.K. aid by 2015.

DfID said will also widen its pool of disaster and conflict experts, set up a new rapid response facility, establish closer cooperation with the U.K. military in times of humanitarian crises and conflicts, and enter in new partnerships with the private sector and emerging global players such as Brazil, India and the Gulf states.

The U.K. will also call for radical changes in the U.N. leadership of the international humanitarian community, DfID said, adding that the country will support U.N. humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos’ reform agenda.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.