IDDR 2016 (The International Day for Disaster Reduction) is to be commemorated with a week long programme, under the auspices of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The programme was launched on Sunday, 9th October, through simultaneous worship at Methodist Churches within 8 districts throughout St. Kitts. District and Disaster Managers joined in the services within their own communities. The programme of activities continues today, Monday 10th, with an appearance on UPFRONT on ZIZ TV, by the NEMA District Managers.

On Thursday 13th, the actual day set for the commemoration, NEMA management and staff will discuss the importance of the celebration, including how ordinary citizens may contribute to the success of its goals on “From Danger to Safety”, aired on Radio ZIZ and ZIZonline from 6:00pm. The programme will rebroadcast on the following Sunday, 16th, from 3:30pm.

On Friday 14th, the NEMA office will be closed to the public to facilitate a Staff Retreat. Any inconvenience experienced as a result of this closure, is regretted. The staff retreat was added to the calendar last year and was determined to be an important component of the annual exercise.

The Week of activities concludes on Saturday 15th, with the completion of the District Community Outreach, which began on the previous Sunday. The activity includes a safety drill, a clean-up, a walk-through and training in communities.

IDDR began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13th October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reigning in the risks that they face. The 2016 edition marks the launch of the new “Sendai Seven” campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework, the first of which is reducing disaster mortality.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was adopted by UN Member States on 18 March 2015 at the Third U.N. World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, and aims to achieve the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years.