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On 13 October 2014, the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) will be an occasion to pay tribute to millions of girls and women around the world who are on the frontline making their communities and societies resilient to the impacts of disasters and the effects of climate change. 

On this occasion, a roundtable conference on “Resilience is for life and inclusive disaster risk reduction” organized by the Department of Disaster Management of the ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, along with the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) at the Daily star center, Dhaka was held a day before the international day for disaster.  The conference outlined the importance on viewing elderly people with disability as an asset while planning disaster risk reduction program and ensuring their rights.

Disaster risk reduction and building resilience are imperative for any future development agenda. Keeping the concept in mind, a 10-year international disaster risk reduction plan, The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA) was designed. It was an initiative taken towards building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters, an inspiration for knowledge, practice, implementation, experience and the science for disaster risk reduction. As the world heads toward the end date of the HFA, now a post 2015 Hyogo framework for action is on the making.

In the roundtable, addressed by Mr. Nazmul Bari, Director CDD stated that the 10 year HFA did not take the issue of elderly people’s vulnerability under consideration but the post 2015 framework certainly should. He also believes that once this issue is included in the framework, it will fortify the rights of the vulnerable through national policies. Also present Mr. HM Noman Khan, Executive Director of CDD, Mr. Md Quamrul Hasan, Deputy Secretary MoDMR, Mr.  Muhammad Saidur Rahman, Director of Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre and others, stressed on the need of protecting these vulnerable groups during disasters. Mr. Muhammad Saidur Rahman, emphasized specifically on the importance of addressing the problems right from the root level- poverty, exploitation, economic exclusion and social exclusion are the main drawbacks.  He furthermore stated that the vulnerable group needs to have complete access and control over the public resources as well. Likewise the main focus of the United Nations International strategy for Disaster Reduction also highlights the need to aware the elderly people and focus on their vulnerability during disasters. Such policies involving disabilities have been brought under light before but due to lack of coordination among the ministries lead to hurdles in implementing the policies, stated by Mr. HM Noman Khan. Simultaneously Mr. Adbul Wazed, director general of the Department of Disaster Management IDDR also pointed out, the lack of awareness about the vulnerable groups among the mainstream, lead to an exclusion of these section of people.

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