Sir John Holmes , Former Under Secretary General, Humanitarian Affairs, on urban disasters

1 December, 2010

Haitian and Indonesian earthquakes, floods in Pakistan and the 2004 tsunami demonstrated the complexity of responding to large scale disasters affecting urban areas and the particular vulnerability of poorer populations.

Urban risks: moving from humanitarian responses to disaster prevention

Monday 22 – Thursday 25 November 2010 (WP1059)

WP1059 Sir John Holmes

Sir John Holmes speaking after dinner

Academics, policy makers and humanitarian actors from over 23 countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Indonesia, Kenya, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, the US, Thailand and Vietnam met to discuss the changing nature of disaster response and ways in which the international community can respond more effectively.

WP1059 Bhichit Rattakul and Atle Leikvoll

Bhichit Rattakul and Atle Leikvoll

The conference brought together disaster prevention, preparedness and response experts from governments, military and civil society to identify and share key learning including: respective roles and capabilities of different responders; the potential for more effective risk reduction measures; and ways in which the existing humanitarian toolkit should be adapted for urban emergencies.

Speakers included:

  • Sir John Holmes (Former Under Secretary General, Humanitarian Affairs); Yasemin Aysan (Former Under Secretary General, Disaster Response, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)
  • Bhichit Rattakul, Executive Director, Asia Disaster Preparedness Centre
  • Atle Leikvoll, Deputy Secretary General, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Nan Buzard, Senior Director, American Red Cross
  • Apurva Sanghi, Senior Economist, Joint World Bank – UN Project on Economics of Disaster Risk Reduction
WP1059 Yasemin Aysan and Vinod Chandra Menon

Yasemin Aysan and Vinod Chandra Menon

Podcasts

Two podcasts were recorded during our conference:

Urban disasters with Sir John Holmes

Urban disasters: coordinating recovery with Nan Buzard, Vinod Chandra Menon and Bhichit Rattakul

 

WP1059 Nan Buzard, Vinod Chandra Menon and Bhichit Rattakul

Taking part in our podcast on relief coordination were; Nan Buzard, Vinod Chandra Menon and Bhichit Rattakul

 

This conference was supported by:

  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence (Canberra)
  • Asia Disaster Preparedness Centre (Bangkok)
  • Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, World Bank

Further information

Conference on Urban risks: moving from humanitarian responses to disaster prevention

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