Building peace in the minds of men and women

IFRC World Disasters Report 2013 features UNESCO’s World Map project

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released its annual World Disasters Report on 17 October 2013 focusing on the impact of technological innovations on humanitarian action and resilience against disasters. The 2013 report features an innovative UNESCO project on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

The 2013 World Disasters Report examines the impact that technological innovations are having on humanitarian action and how technology can directly reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience against disasters. This year's report presents individuals and organizations that are actively engaged in relevant work towards disaster prevention. Among these, the report highlights the project "World Map of UNESCO's Points of Interest".

This UNESCO project aims to contribute to a web-based free and open world map of educational, cultural and scientifically relevant installations, such as schools, water resources, public services - through citizen’s participation. The objective is to strengthen both the resilience of local communities and the response of UNESCO and global organizations in post-crisis situations through an openly licensed GIS data infrastructure. This project is built on Free/Libre Open Source (FOSS) tools which have been used successfully in many post-crisis response activities:, a collaborative and openly licensed mapping initiative; and Ushahidi, which allows users to crowdsource “crisis information” to be collected also via mobile.

UNESCO is actively engaged in the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).  Its activities range from facilitating and promoting the use of science and technology in DRR, to specialized policy advice and technical assistance to affected governments, UN agencies and non-profit organizations in reactivating education systems in post-disaster situations.

The IFRC World Disasters Report focuses on the people who are most vulnerable and likely to be affected by disasters, and on the local institutions that provide support for disaster prevention, preparedness and relief. The first edition was published in 1993.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies with its 187 member National Societies is the world's largest humanitarian organization. It coordinates activities between the National Societies in order to act before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people.

More information is available on the World Disaster Report website.