High-Level Meeting on the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework
New York, 6 June 2023
The Holy See is pleased to participate in this High-Level Meeting on the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework 2015-2030 and welcomes the adoption of its Political Declaration. In this regard, the Holy See would like to offer some considerations.
First, as reaffirmed in the Declaration, efforts to promote a culture of disaster prevention through education and training on disaster risk must be enhanced. In particular, special attention should be devoted to addressing the needs of those living in vulnerable situations, involving them in awareness-raising and training programs related to disaster risks. Educational programs can play a significant role in promoting better understanding and knowledge of disaster risk that, in turn, reduces the loss of human lives.
Second, along with prevention, closer attention needs to be paid to our way of responding to the impact of disasters. Material aid is vital to react to the basic needs of individuals and communities that are adversely affected. Many of those living in disaster-prone areas are in fact largely dependent on livelihoods and sectors that are negatively affected by disasters. In addition to material losses, Pope Francis underscored the need to take also into account “the ‘interior damage’, the suffering of those who have lost their dear ones and have seen the sacrifices of an entire life swept away.” In responding to material and non-material losses, local communities have an essential role to play and, as such, require adequate support. As Pope Francis stressed, their “capacity of mobilizing themselves ought never to be underestimated in catastrophic situations. Religious and cultural traditions also play a significant role and represent a source of enrichment for the work of resilience.”
The Holy See, especially through the work of many Catholic schools, has provided educational and awareness-raising opportunities to build a culture of prevention. Moreover, Catholic institutions often play a crucial – and sometimes irreplaceable – role in responding to disasters, by assisting affected people and communities, including through the supply of basic services such as food, water, shelter and medicines, but also through the provision of spiritual care and support. The Holy See remains committed to continue to play its part in addressing disaster risk reduction.
 Pope Francis, Pastoral Visit to Carpi and Mirandola with People Affected by the Earthquake, Mirandola, 2 April 2017.
 Cfr. Letter sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on behalf of the Holy Father to the President of the United Mexican States, President of the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.