On Wednesday, July 8th the Parliament of the World's Religions joined the High Level Forum on Sustainable Development Goals and the Tzu Chi Foundation for the program, "Mitigating Disaster Risks In A COVID Era: Faith Based Perspectives".
Since the emergence of COVID-19 in December of 2019, communities around the world have been deeply impacted, with the global pandemic disrupting all sense of normalcy, injecting death, fear, isolation and anxiety into individuals’ lives. In the face of the suffering that surfaced, faith based communities around the world have been at the front lines of responding to COVID-19, coordinating with local governments and international entities to support healthcare workers, providing food security to vulnerable and marginalized communities, creating digital communities of care and resilience to address emotional and mental wellbeing. Convened during the High Level Political Forum, as the world gathered digitally to reflect on how the international community can accelerate progress in achieving sustainable development, in spite of the challenges created by COVID-19, the side event explored transformative actions being taken by faith based organizations that simultaneously address the impacts of COVID-19, while building resilience into vulnerable communities.
Structured as a learning dialogue, meant to explore the unique perspectives of all panelists, Member States, UN agencies and faith based organizations highlighted key actions that strengthen disaster risk reduction, through the pathways of food security, climate action, and community led development, analyzing how, through interfaith action, marginalized and at risk communities can receive the critical long term support needed to mitigate future disaster risks.
The event featured the participation of Huw Beynon, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction; Fr. Aristelo Miranda, MI, CADIS International; Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith; Debra Boudreaux, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation; and Audrey Kitagawa, Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Enjoy the full program below!