The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction is annually observed on the second Wednesday of October.
This day is celebrated to raise the profile of disaster risk reduction.

It also encourages people and governments to participate in building more resilient communities and nations.

What People do during this International Day?

Activities for the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction usually include media announcements about launches for campaigns that center on the day’s theme. Governments and communities also takes part in the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction through various events. Drawing, drama, essay or photography competitions that focus on making people aware of natural disaster reduction and increasing their preparedness for such situations are an example of this events. Other activities include: community tree planting; conferences, fairs and seminars; and street parades.


Many people around the world have lost their lives, homes or access to essential facilities, such as hospitals, due to natural disasters. Disasters like earthquakes, droughts, tsunamis, heavy flooding, hurricanes or cyclones. Some of these disasters have caused economic damage to some countries. Education, training, and information exchanges are effective ways to help people become better equipped in withstanding natural disasters.

On December 22, 1989, the UN General Assembly designated the second Wednesday of October as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction. This event was to be observed annually during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, 1990-1999. On December 20, 2001, the assembly decided to maintain the observance to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

Sendai Seven Campaign for Risk Reduction

2016 saw the launch of the “Sendai Seven” campaign by UNDRR, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. The first of which is reducing disaster mortality. The campaign sought to create a wave of awareness about actions taken to reduce mortality around the world. Last year’s target focused on prevention, protection and reducing the number of people affected by disasters.

The Sendai Seven Campaign is an opportunity for all, including governments, local governments, community groups, civil society organisations, the private sector, international organisations and the UN family, to promote best practices at the international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses.

The 2020 edition continues as part of the “Sendai Seven” campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. This year will focus on Target 5: “Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020; their resilience by 2030”.