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Call to action for governments

The Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022

In our capacity of working to protect children and advance children’s rights all around the world, we call on governments participating in the APMCDRR conference to take three critical actions. 

  1. Delegates at the APMCDRR Conference should endorse and commit to implementing the Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF) 2022-2030, created by the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES). 

    They should also urge their national governments to establish national, multi-stakeholder school safety coordination mechanisms led by their Ministries of Education and supported by their National Disaster Management Organisations.

    1. The CSSF is civil society-led response to the reality that children around the world learn in schools that are made unsafe by multiple hazards, including the impacts of conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, nearly a quarter of the world’s children live in disaster- or conflict affected countries.

    2. In Australia, the 2019-2020 bushfires destroyed at least two schools and led to the closure of more than 600 schools in New South Wales alone, affecting an estimated 8,000 children.[2]  In 2022, floods in Queensland and New South Wales affected Brisbane directly, inundating homes and properties and briefly closing all state schools in February. An estimated 144 schools remained closed for several days as clean-up work took place.[3]

    3. The CSSF focuses on improving the resilience of education systems and reducing barriers to participation, such as extreme weather events, poverty, disability, and illness. It espouses a socio-ecological model for understanding children’s well-being.

    4. The CSSF argues that education systems, and their enabling policies and plans, must be equitable, socially inclusive, child-centred, and child- and community-participatory.

    5. Delegates can endorse the CSSF by using the universal endorsement statement on the GADRRRES website, by providing an endorsement video, and/or by writing a blog post committing to the CSSF.

  2. Asia-Pacific governments, including Australia’s, should enable the expansion of shock-responsive social protection systems around Asia and the Pacific to ensure children have access to education, health services, and quality nutrition. 

    1. Many countries in Asia have targeted or means-tested social protection systems with partial population coverage, while many countries in the Pacific have only fledgling or non-existent systems. At the same time, all around the region, customary and kinship-based mutual assistance practices are being pushed to their limits by successive and compounding shocks. As a result, more children are being pulled out of school, being denied healthcare, and missing out on nutritious food.

    2. Nevertheless, communities in many of these countries have had good experiences with successful emergency cash responses to disasters, including those that use mobile phone payment systems to improve accessibility and coverage. The legacies of such responses are a form of social infrastructure and should be networked to create and expand national systems providing universal coverage.

    3. Australia should help to establish and fund such systems while also advocating for debt relief so that developing nations across Asia and the Pacific can co-invest their own resources in building and maintaining these systems. It should also advocate for more funding and SDR recycling from multilateral agencies and financial instruments, especially in light of the present emerging debt crisis. Australia should also further explore opportunities to partner with other major donors in the region to jointly develop social protection systems, such as New Zealand, US, EU and Japan.

  3. Asia-Pacific Governments, including Australia’s, should also support construction and resilience measures for other important forms of social infrastructure, including community health and education facilities affected by conflict, climate, and COVID impacts.

    1. The Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) should adapt its focus to expanding and protecting social infrastructure across the Pacific, including in collaboration with civil society.

    2. Likewise, Australia’s 2022 pledge of $200 million in climate finance to Indonesia should be focused on protecting community-level social infrastructure in collaboration with civil society.

[1] Save the Children, ‘Born into the Climate Crisis: Why We Must Act Now to Secure Children’s Rights’, 2021,
[1] Save the Children et al., ‘Guardians of the Planet: Asia Pacific Children and Youth Voices on Climate Crisis and Disaster Risk Reduction’, accessed 4 August 2022,
[2] Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, ‘The 2019-2020 Australian Bushfires: From Temporary Evacuation to Longer-Term Displacement’, accessed 10 August 2022,
[3] Samantha Scott et al., ‘FULL LIST: 144 Schools Closed as Flood Chaos Continues’, The Courier Mail, 1 March 2022, sec. News,

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