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Sendai Dialogue Advances Global Consensus on Disaster Risk Management

October 10, 2012

Economic losses from natural hazards have more than tripled over the last three decades and amount to $3.5 trillion

SENDAI, Japan, October 10, 2012 – The World Bank and the Government of Japan, together with global policymakers, today called for greater efforts to integrate disaster risk management into national development planning and international development assistance. 

A joint statement issued by the Government of Japan and the World Bank urges national governments and development partners to accelerate efforts to pro-actively manage growing disaster risks by incorporating disaster risk management in all development policy and investment programs.  

“We need a culture of prevention,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.  “No country can fully insulate itself from disaster risk, but every country can reduce its vulnerability.  Better planning can help reduce damage – and loss of life - from disasters, and prevention can be far less costly than disaster relief and response.”

Economic losses caused by natural hazards have more than tripled over the last three decades and amount to $3.5 trillion.  The Sendai Dialogue, which was hosted by the Government of Japan and the World Bank Group during the 2012 World Bank Group/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings, convened governments, multilateral institutions, and civil society with the goal of sharing knowledge that will advance the integration of risk management into development planning.

“I hope that lessons derived from Japan’s long-established disaster management culture, as well as the Great East Japan Earthquake and its reconstruction process, will be globally shared,” said Japanese Finance Minister Koriki Jojima.  “I expect the Sendai Dialogue to help form a consensus on the need to mainstream disaster risk management in all aspects of development processes.”

The Sendai Dialogue was informed by the Sendai Report: Managing Disaster Risks for a Resilient Future, which is an official Development Committee paper for the 2012 Annual Meetings, and by a series of 32 knowledge notes produced by the World Bank in cooperation with the Government of Japan.

Dialogue participants, who included  World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, Koriki Jojima, Japan’s Minister of Finance, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristinalia Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, and President Haruhiko Kuroda of the Asian Development Bank, reaffirmed their commitment to providing technical and financial support for building resilience to disasters in vulnerable countries.

Disaster risk management is increasingly central to World Bank business. Over the last 10 years, the Bank financed nearly $18 billion in activities focusing on natural disasters, which has helped to protect the lives and livelihoods of people in 92 countries.  More than two-thirds of the World Bank’s country partnership strategies have already started to incorporate disaster risk management, and the goal is to bring that figure to 100 percent. 

The conference took place on October 9-10, 2012 in Sendai, the largest City in the Tohoku Region along the Pacific coast of Japan, which bore the brunt of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

 

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