Health in Disaster Areas  

“We don´t know when the next crisis will hit us but we know that the nature will continue to surprise us. I have never seen a country that is immune to disasters. Emergency Risk Management is an investment that no country can afford to avoid.”

WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, 21th May 2013, Geneva UN Headquarter

Last week the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) took place in Geneva. For the first time in history IFMSA attended with a delegation in this Un. High Level Meeting. We had together with the governments, UN departments, parliaments and NGOs attending a shared goal: A goal of reducing the human suffering in directly or indirectlly connection to a disaster. The GPDRR is the world’s foremost gathering of stakeholders committed to reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations. The meeting was organized by UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) and a major milestone as we move to post-2015 development agenda. Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction Genva 21-23 May 2013.

We, the IFMSA, represent the future healthcare providers and citizens of tomorrow, therefore our input – our voice – is important in the various aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction. Together with the World Health Organization (WHO) delegation we raised the fact that health is a human right and it is a nations and the international societies responsibility to maintan the best possible physical and mental health during an ongoing disaster. Therefor there is a need of implementation of health aspects in disaster management and disaster risk reduction.

Moa Herrgård delivers the statment on behalf on IFMSA.


Representing the IFMSA we did an official statment in the open plenary. We pointed out that the global future plan of DRR shall include:

1. Man-made disasters

2. Specific commitments & health indicators

3. Truly multisectoral collaboration

4. Participation of the Youth in the Decision Making Processes

The Global Platform for DRR was the first step for our new focus in the IFMSA of working in the field of Disaster and Health. At the moment we are setting up a network and a framework for future work within the IFMSA on DRR.

“Disaster Risk Reduction plans are for the future so we have to involve the youth in its development.” Goverment of Japan

In case you have any question or you want to be involved in future events, feel free to contact us


Chris Pleyer, Monika Bednarek, 

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and Christopher Schürmann

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