Disaster Risk Reduction and violent conflict in Africa and Arab states: implications for the Sendai Framework priorities

Briefing papers
October 2018
Katie Peters and Laura E.R. Peters

There is a moral imperative to delivering disaster risk reduction (DRR) in violent conflict contexts, where disaster vulnerabilities are high. While there is longstanding experience and an extensive literature on humanitarian responses to disasters in conditions of conflict, little attention has been given to how to effectively adapt DRR policies, programmes and strategies to such contexts. Given the prevalence of violent conflict across Africa and the Arab region, this is not a marginal concern.

Violent conflicts present acute challenges to designing and implementing strategies to achieve the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the region. A more critical approach is needed to ensure that DRR measures do not inadvertently reinforce vulnerability to disaster and conflict risk.

To understand and act on disaster risk in contexts of violent conflict, the inherently political nature of disaster risk must be taken into account. Insufficient attention has been given to adapting DRR policies, programmes and strategies to such contexts.

This paper constitutes a step towards a deeper understanding of disaster risk by considering the role of violent conflict in disaster vulnerability and its impact on Sendai Framework Priorities 1, 2 and 4.