September 16, 2019
 In Articles

United Nations Development Program

Disaster Risk Reduction

Federal Republic of Somalia

Naman Jain

Forest Hills Eastern


Natural disasters present the world with a prodigious challenge. According to the World Bank, about two million people have lost their lives as a result of natural disasters since 1980. The total economic loss has been more than 3 trillion USD. The challenge is particularly severe in developing countries, as they are both less able to cope with the impact and more likely to be affected. The World Bank found that 91 percent of the people facing storm-related disasters live in countries that have poor human development. The issue of natural disasters must be resolved. The UN plays a vital role in disaster recovery and risk reduction. Disasters pose a critical threat to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals including ending poverty and world hunger. To resolve the issue of natural disasters, the United Nations Development Program should prepare developing countries for disasters in advance and help them quickly deal with the aftermath. 


As a country that has recently undergone a devastating drought, Somalia understands how natural disasters in an unprepared country create a multitude of other problems. In 2019, more than 2 million people were at risk of starvation due to a lack of crops in Somalia. A drought in 2011 that was remarked to be the “worst in 60 years” caused a famine that various articles claim killed more than 260,000 people and affected 13 million people in the Horn of Africa. Additionally, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) found that flash flooding displaces thousands of people in Somalia. Somalia’s past political instability has disrupted the needed services to plan and develop infrastructure for disaster risk reduction. Somalia has been helped by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) because of its high vulnerability and unstable economy. Still, Somalia requires assistance for this issue. 


Somalia proposes that the United Nations help developing countries reduce the direct harm of the disaster itself and efficiently deal with the fallout that occurs afterward by preparing them for natural disasters. Unpreparedness can make natural disasters much more harmful. Nations without proper planning, infrastructure, and coordination suffer much more from these disasters. They are detrimental to economic growth and cause increased political and social tensions. Assistance creating physical infrastructures and supporting developing countries lower disaster risk by encouraging proper planning and coordination is necessary. Somalia supports a resolution that advocates for the United Nations through NGOs supporting developing countries both before and after natural disasters through risk aversion and disaster relief.

  • Naman Jain

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