President Gustavo Petro to lead disaster risk management council in Colombia

June 24, 2024

Petro to chair National Disaster Risk Council from UNGRD

On June 23, 2024, the President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, chaired the National Disaster Risk Management Council (CNGRD) from the headquarters of the Unidad Nacional para la Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres (UNGRD) in Bogotá, as reported by UNGRD.

This marks the first time the president lead the council’s session from this location.

The council reviewed and approved updates to the National Risk Management Plan aimed at preparing the country for climate change challenges.

Additionally, the meeting assessed preparatory measures for potential impacts of the La Niña 2024 phenomenon, which could affect 550,000 families and 16,000 homes, particularly in the Andean, Pacific, and Caribbean regions.

Focus on La Niña phenomenon preparedness

The session prioritized discussing the potential impact of the La Niña 2024 phenomenon.

Past La Niña events have significantly impacted Colombia, and current projections indicate a considerable risk to the Andean, Pacific, and Caribbean regions.

The council evaluated strategies to mitigate these risks, including measures to support the 550,000 families and protect 16,000 homes that may be affected.

Ensuring readiness for such natural events is critical for minimizing damage and ensuring swift recovery.

Role and structure of the CNGRD

The National Disaster Risk Management Council (CNGRD) is the highest decision-making and strategic coordination body for disaster risk management in Colombia.

It includes the president, the ministerial cabinet, the director of the National Planning Department, and the director of the UNGRD, who acts as the technical secretary.

The CNGRD coordinates efforts across public, private, and community entities to optimize disaster risk management actions.

It convenes at least twice a year under normal conditions and more frequently during disaster situations.

UNGRD’s strategic role in disaster management

The Unidad Nacional para la Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres (UNGRD) plays a pivotal role in implementing and managing disaster response strategies across Colombia.

It ensures alignment with the directives of Law 1523 of 2012, which provides the legal framework for disaster risk management in the country.

The CNGRD’s interinstitutional approach facilitates continuous disaster management processes, involving various national system entities.

This structure aims to enhance Colombia’s resilience to natural disasters through coordinated and effective planning and response.

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