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Resilience is for life: reducing disaster risk in an ageing world

Time (GMT +01) 15:00 17:00


Chris Roles - Director of Age International


Silvia Stefanoni - Direct of Policy and Strategy, HelpAge International

Tom Mitchell - Head of Climate and Environment, ODI

This event to launch HelpAge International’s new report, Disaster resilience in an ageing world, highlighted the important contribution older people can make to disaster resilience planning and projects – as well as the need for better data on disasters.

Chris Roles, Director of Age International, opened the discussion with the figures on our increasingly ageing world – two billion older people by 2050. This growing demographic is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, which policy makers tend to overlook. Chris emphasised that new policies aiming to build resilience and reduce risk must be age-inclusive.

HelpAge International’s Director of Policy and Strategy, Silvia Stefanoni, introduced the themes and findings of Disaster resilience in an ageing world. Although older people can make important contributions and take an active role in responding to disasters, she argued, this is rarely recognised in disaster response or resilience systems.

Head of Climate and Environment at ODI, Tom Mitchell, spoke about disaster response and resilience more broadly. Recognising the lack of reliable data as a major problem when it comes to measuring progress, he advocated for better sharing of data, more nuanced indicators, capacity building in data collection – and, crucially, disaggregated data before a disaster occurs.


​The world is experiencing a dramatic demographic shift. Today, people aged over 60 constitute 11 per cent of the global population. By 2050, this proportion will have doubled to 22 per cent – that is, 2 billion older persons. And populations are ageing most rapidly in developing countries with up to 80 per cent of the world’s older people expected to be living in developing countries by 2050. These countries are also some of the most exposed to disasters, which is also likely to increase with climate change and changes in human and natural environments over the coming century.

What does this mean for our response to managing risk to disasters? Are we providing the necessary support to this growing sector of the population? How can we harness the potential of older people for strengthening resilience while ensuring that their vulnerabilities are being addressed?

The event will be chaired by Chris Roles, Director of Age International, will feature the launch of HelpAge International’s new report “Resilience in an Ageing World” and include keynote presentations from: Silvia Stefanoni, Direct of Policy and Strategy, HelpAge International and Tom Mitchell, Head of Climate and Environment, ODI

We hope you will join us for a stimulating discussion.

Join Thunderclap ahead of the event at 12:00 to raise awareness of International Day for Disaster Reduction 2014 through your social media!


Age International is a charitable subsidiary of Age UK and a member of the HelpAge global network