Disaster Risk Reduction: tangible contribution by Luxembourg
In the framework of the thematic debate on disaster risk reduction which was held on 12 April 2012 at the initiative of the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Luxembourg has presented its tangible contribution to the efforts undertaken by the international community to reduce significantly the impact of disasters on societies and economies, notably in developing countries which are the most vulnerable because of their geographic location.
Since 2006 already, Luxembourg has allocated at least 5% of its budget for humanitarian affairs to prevention, disaster preparedness and risk mitigation programmes. Luxembourg consistently supports the coordination work undertaken by the United Nations Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). In addition to its official development assistance, Luxembourg has allocated one million euro to the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) to promote efforts aiming at better integrating climate change adaptation into national disaster reduction programmes.
Furthermore, Luxembourg has taken a national initiative with the aim to strengthen disaster preparedness capacities, namely the mobile satellite telecommunication platform emergency.lu . The platform has been established on the basis of a Luxembourg public-private partnership and has been officially launched at the United Nations, in New York, on 7 December 2011. The emergency.lu platform is put at the disposal of the humanitarian community, in cooperation with the WFP as emergency telecommunications cluster lead, to ensure access to communications via satellite in the affected area, in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophe or a conflict. The emergency.lu platform has been deployed for the first time in January 2012 to South Sudan. In February, three mobile satellite telecommunication terminals have been pre-positioned in Dubai, where they are stored in WFP’s Humanitarian Response Depot to guarantee rapid deployment in case of a major humanitarian disaster. A similar pre-positioning is foreseen in Panama. If required, Luxembourg is also ready to deploy a terminal to Mali or to a neighbouring country in the Sahel, in order to support the activities of the international humanitarian community in the face of a worsening food and nutrition crisis. Finally, an agreement is being concluded with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to put two emergency.lu terminals at its disposal in order to address the needs of the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).