§ Mr. Lazarowicz
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what actions have been taken to improve the Department's strategies for disaster-prone regions since the publication of the National Audit Office's report on Responding to Humanitarian Emergencies, HC 1227 of Session 2002–03; 
(2) whether his Department systematically analyses and reduces disaster risks within its development planning and programming; 
(3) when his Department will formulate a strategy to mainstream disaster preparedness and mitigation into its development work; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what plans his Department has to take disaster risks into account in its approach to development; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Hilary Benn
A reduction in the incidence and impact of natural and man-made disasters is an essential precondition for poverty reduction in many countries.384W
DFID accepts that we need to give due weight to ensuring that our development policies are risk aware and that people's vulnerability to risks is reduced. For example, DFID's Global Environmental Assets team is seeking to promote the integration of climate change risk into development planning. DFID's Central Asia, South Caucasus and Moldova team has carried out a review of disaster preparedness and response capacity in Central Asia to analyse gaps in support of disaster reduction and prevention.
DFID has agreed to change the guidance for DFID country teams preparing Country Assistance Plans to ensure that disaster risk reduction issues are taken into consideration. DFID's guidance to country teams on environmental screening instructs country teams to examine disaster risk issues.
DFID is in the process of reviewing how we might step up our work in this area. A scoping study, commissioned by DFID and undertaken by the Overseas Development Group, will report soon on how the development community and DFID can tackle disaster risk most effectively. It will also advise on ways to better mainstream disaster risk reduction and mitigation into development work. DFID expects to develop a forward strategy for DFID on disaster reduction in the light of the findings of this study. The findings will be disseminated to interested parties.
The Government are commissioning a report to document UK civil society work in disaster reduction in preparation for the World Conference on disaster reduction to be held in Kobe, Japan next January, it is hoped this will enable networking and skill sharing within the disaster community.