Makanzu Imwangana, F. & Bambi Tshitshi, M.E. 2017. ‘Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in DR. Congo: Policy and Governance for a National Strategy and 2017-2023 Plan of Action’. Disasters and resilience in the 21st century. Book of abstracts. Brussels. (PR)
The DR.Congo is increasingly experiencing recurring of natural disasters. The risks that generate these disasters are particularly aggravated by two main factors: (i) the physical context of the country and (ii) lack of good governance with respect to spatial planning, urbanization and socio-economic vulnerability of the population. To reduce the negative impact of natural hazards and allow for continued development efforts by public authorities, UNDP supports national initiatives to develop strategic and operational instruments and mechanisms that should lead to better governance of natural hazards. Thus, UNDP has supported the formulation of the DRR National Strategy with a 2017-2023 Plan of Action. This Country Strategy is in line with the Sendai Framework, the Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Central Africa Regional Strategy for DRR and Adaptation to Climate Change (ACC). Its vision, goal and priorities are derived from the conclusions and recommendations of consultations conducted across the country. It emerges that DRR in the DR.Congo has a vision that translates as: 'reducing the loss of human lives as well as economic, infrastructural, environmental, societal and cultural impacts and making communities more resilient towards disasters.' The main objective is to equip the country during the next seven years all the strategic and operational instruments and mechanisms for DRR and with prevention and mitigation tools, as well as to ensure preparedness for disasters. As such, the strategy is divided into nine priority areas: (i) formal recognition of DRR as a national priority; (ii) implementation of institutional mechanisms and strengthening governance for DRR at the national, provincial and local levels; (iii) implementation of operational mechanisms for DRR funding; (iv) implementation of disaster risk and vulnerability assessments and analysis; (v) capacity-building with respect to disaster preparedness and effectiveness at the national, provincial and local levels; (vi) strengthening the capacity of public services to improve predictions of weather and climate conditions, the hydrological regime of rivers as well as volcanic and seismic activity; (vii) linking humanitarian assistance, sustainable development and the environment sector through capacity-building in disaster resilience, ACC and implementation of the Eco-DRR approach; (viii) implementation of special awareness programs; and (ix) the establishment of regional and international cooperation in DRR. The DR.Congo, which is struggling to finance its development, will therefore have to mobilize resources in order to achieve sustainable and resilient development in the face of disaster risks.