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Action brief: Gender and disaster risk reduction and response in the context of COVID-19

January 2021

 The Asia-Pacific Region

This Action Brief builds upon the earlier work done by UN Women and UNDRR and other partners to progress the Leave No One Behind agenda in response to COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to explore gender inequalities and their linkages to disaster manage and COVID-19, as well as identify key barriers to delivering disaster preparedness and response in the context of the pandemic. It focuses on paths to ensuring more inclusive and equal disaster management in times of COVID-19, by leveraging international frameworks on women's rights, leaning on gender expertise in existing disaster and humanitarian settings and ensuring women-focused organisations and women leaders have the resources and authority to lead local response efforts for the most vulnerable and marginalised.

The paper concludes that transforming underlying risk needs to be a coordinated global response that addresses root causes that leave certain groups particularly vulnerable in times of crises. Gender-responsive and socially inclusive measures in disaster preparedness and response need to be prioritised, special consideration needs to be paid to these marginalised groups when embedding COVID-19 response and recovery measures into disaster management to ensure gains in DRR overall are not lost and the needs and priorities of the most vulnerable are not left out.