The Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management

In order to be in a better position to meet the global challenges resulting from the increased risk of disasters, the German government has launched a Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM), for which the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is the lead ministry.

The aim of the Initiative is to bring together German and regional experts from the public and private sectors, science and research, and civil society with a view to exchanging experience across national borders, drafting tailor-made solutions and launching pilot projects.

The GIDRM focuses on three priorities:

  1. Civil protection: Germany has a unique system with highly professional volunteers – divided into fire services and technical services, among others – available to help in emergencies. Under the Initiative, Germany shares its experience with other countries.
  2. Protecting critical infrastructure and economic systems: In this context the focus is on innovative technology in order to secure energy and water supplies and telecommunications if a disaster strikes, and to keep the transport system going.
  3. Developing and strengthening early warning systems: Early warning systems are helpful, above all, in dealing with the risks posed by severe storms, flooding, landslides and tsunamis. Germany has been involved in national and international activities in this field for many years now. The GIDRM draws on the comprehensive knowledge and practical experience available in Germany.

In addition to the BMZ, the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Foreign Office (AA) are also involved in these activities. The ministries are working together on exploring and developing new forms of cooperation with advanced partner countries. Existing projects under development cooperation play an important role here as a starting point for further activities.

The Initiative is initially focusing on eight pilot countries in Asia: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. There are plans to expand the activities to include countries in North Africa and in Latin America. The Initiative is meant to raise Germany’s profile in the field of disaster risk management and thus help to meet the demand for specialised services and technology from Germany.

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