Dear All,
The United Nations’ International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is on 13 October. The DRR community around the world is celebrating this day to promote disaster awareness and a culture of disaster preparedness to reduce disaster risk.
So is the Avoidable Deaths Network (ADN).
The theme for the International Day for DRR 2021 is: "international cooperation for developing countries to reduce disaster risks and disaster losses".
Reducing disaster risks and disaster losses (human, economic and ecological) are global challenges, especially as the frequency and intensity of hazards continue to grow due to the effects of global warming and climate change.
Yet, the lived realities of disaster risks and losses are local challenges - profoundly felt and mitigated by the ordinary citizens of rural villages, towns, cities, and megacities in the developing countries, often with limited resources.
As you would concur with us that self-coping and mitigation have their limitations for sustainable development. These limitations have been sharply exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the pandemic continues to unfold along with concurrent disasters, the need for local, national, and international collaboration and cooperation is more important than ever in developing countries for equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, poverty alleviation, and reducing disaster deaths and avoidable deaths from the indirect effect of disasters.
The ADN is a global network of researchers, policymakers, students, and practitioners dedicated to reducing disaster deaths and the number of people affected by disasters in developing countries.
The ADN's philosophy is rooted in the praxis of understanding global and local challenges leading to direct deaths and avoidable deaths during and in the aftermath of disasters. We have been deciphering this praxis whilst working closely with our global partners and governmental and non-governmental partners in India, Bangladesh, and Japan.
Most importantly, we are dedicated to and focusing on reducing avoidable maternal deaths and morbidities from post-abortion complications during disasters and humanitarian crises, reducing avoidable deaths from nutritional crises from the effect of COVID-19 and economic lockdown, and reducing avoidable disaster deaths from the want of education and preparedness - among others.
Through these initiatives, we have learned that both direct and indirect disaster deaths are avoidable and unavoidable. They are avoidable when there is collaboration, cooperation, coordination, and communication between actors and actants in implementing public health measures, amenable or timely intervention measures, and effective measures for governance.
We will continue to celebrate the United Nations' theme of 'international cooperation to reduce disaster risks’ in the Caribbean region by holding a symposium on 'Integrating Disaster Risk Management with Defence and Emergency Services to Reduce Avoidable Disaster Deaths' on 10 December 2021.
This symposium, first of its kind, organised in collaboration with 9 institutions will bring together the defence and emergency services to cross-pollinate these cognate services and sectors to reimagine response and recovery processes for reducing avoidable deaths. For more information about this symposium, please click here.
After holding the symposium, we will deliver three knowledge exchange webinars in collaboration with Right Insights and the Caribbean Development Bank on:
  • The Role of Risk Transfer in Reducing Avoidable Deaths (25 March 2022);
  • Exclusion and Avoidable Deaths (29 April 2022); and
  • Indirect Disaster Deaths (27 May 2022).
I hope you will join us at these virtual events.

Yours sincerely,
Drs Nibedita Ray-Bennett and Hideyuki Shiroshita
Founding Presidents of the Avoidable Deaths Network
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