Reducing risks to disasters

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Save the Children helps children and their communities learn about the risks of climate change and disasters. We work with children to increase their resilience and help them reduce risks of future disasters for themselves and their communities.

Disasters and climate change have a profound impact on children. Of those affected or killed as a result of disasters, half are children. By 2015, natural disasters are predicted to affect up to 175 million children each year – a 40 percent increase from those affected between 1995 and 2005.

As the impacts of climate change intensify – harsher and longer heat waves, more unpredictable weather patterns, and increasingly intense tropical storms – more children will be put at risk. More lives and livelihoods will be lost – particularly in poor, climate vulnerable communities in developing countries.

Our approach to climate change and disaster risk reduction

We believe that although children are vulnerable to climate change and disasters, they have the potential to effectively communicate risks and act as agents of change. Children are capable of actively participating in the decision-making processes that will ultimately affect them, their families and the wider community. That's why we're a key supporter of the Children's Charter for Disaster Risk Reduction a set of five priorities developed by and for children to reduce their risk in the face of disasters.

Read more about our approach to disaster risk reduction and climate change and how we build children's resilience.

Our climate change and disaster risk reduction work

We actively seek to integrate knowledge of climate and disaster risks into our community development programs. This helps children and their communities better prepare for future disasters and the effects of climate change and helps safeguard the outcomes of the projects we support.

In Vanuatu, new aid posts for village health workers are built to withstand cyclones and act as a shelter in times of need.  In Bangladesh, we work with children in urban slum communities to increase their understanding of what climate change means in a large city and the actions they can take to help their communities adapt.

Listening to children

We support children to make their voices heard in local, national and global decision making forums on disaster risk reduction and climate change. In the Philippines we've helped  children develop and present the outcomes of their own hazard analysis processes to local government authorities and advocate for including their perspectives in local risk management planning. At the national level, in Vietnam we make children central to events like National Disaster Risk Reduction Day.

At the global levels, we co-hosted a feature event with partners in the Children in a Changing Climate Coalition at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva in May 2013. At the event children presented to policy makers their risk reduction priorities and called for a child-centred approach in future global disaster risk reduction and climate change agreements.