Press release: Building inclusive resilience in the Pacific through the new Women’s Resilience to Disasters Programme

On International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, UN Women in partnership with the Government of Australia, launches the Women’s Resilience to Disasters Programme in the Pacific

Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021

On International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, UN Women in partnership with the Government of Australia launch the Women’s Resilience to Disasters Programme. The A$13.5 million investment will work with Pacific partners and stakeholders to strengthen women’s resilience to disasters, including climate challenges and COVID-19, in Kiribati, Vanuatu and Fiji. The new programme forms part of Australia’s Pacific Women Lead initiative and is aligned with UN Women’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025.

Disasters affect all genders differently. Recent UN Women and UNICEF research confirmed that women and girls are among the most vulnerable, die in greater numbers and have different and uneven levels of resilience and capacity to recover from disasters including conflict, climate challenges and other threats such as COVID-19.

Although they are disproportionally impacted, women and other diversity groups are often absent from the development and decision-making processes for disaster mitigation, preparedness, and recovery.

“As the world grapples with the increasing risk of disasters, we need women’s meaningful participation in the decision-making around resilience measures. This means addressing the structural barriers, capacity gaps, discriminatory attitudes and social norms that hold women back, so that their voice and agency contribute to reducing the negative impact of future disasters and threats,” highlighted Ms. Sima Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women

Over the next four years, the Women’s Resilience to Disasters Programme will support Pacific women, their governments and other stakeholders to create and lead Pacific solutions which ensure gender equality, diversity and inclusion are fully reflected in prevention, preparedness, and recovery policy frameworks, systems and processes. By supporting local leadership and solutions, the Programme will contribute to regional and global knowledge sharing and advocacy on women’s leadership for disaster resilience.

Together with Australia and our Pacific partners, we are supporting interconnected priorities of gender equality and disaster risk reduction to build a more inclusive, stable and resilient Pacific region, which benefits us all.