Disasters hurt the poor and vulnerable the most. More than one-third of the world’s poor live in multi-hazard zones, and low-income countries account for more than 70 percent of the world’s disaster “hotspots.” Mainstreaming disaster risk management into development planning can help lower the impact of disasters on property and lives. Read More »
Disasters hurt the poor and vulnerable the most. Low-income countries account for more than 70 percent of the world’s disaster “hotspots,” and more than a third of the world’s poor live in multi-hazard zones, with climate change increasing the danger of extreme weather. Three decades of data tell the story: Since 1980, low-income countries have accounted for only 9 percent of the disaster events but 48 percent of the fatalities.
The economic impact can be devastating for developing countries. Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters, a report funded by the World Bank and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), found that disasters’ impact on gross domestic product (GDP) is 20 times higher in developing countries than in industrialized nations.
Evidence suggests the costs will increase. In 2011, the world experienced the highest disaster losses ever recorded, continuing a trend that has seen economic costs grow three-fold in the past 30 years. Adverse weather events account for over 78 percent of the disasters recorded over the same period and for two-thirds of the losses, $2.6 trillion.
Mainstreaming disaster risk management into development planning can reverse the current trend of rising disaster impact. Economic development, population growth, and rapid urbanization are driving the rising trend in disaster losses. It is expected that annual damages will triple to $185 billion by 2100 from growing exposure alone - even without factoring in climate change. Early warning systems, weather forecasting, disaster response plans, and urban planning that incorporates disaster risk reduction can save lives and assets. However, many developing countries lack the tools, expertise, and instruments to factor the potential impacts of adverse natural events in their investment decisions.
Last Updated: Nov 15,2013
Over the past 10 years, the World Bank Group has emerged as the global leader in disaster risk management (DRM), supporting client countries as they assess exposure to hazards and address disaster risks. It provides technical and financial support for risk assessments, risk reduction, preparedness, financial protection, and resilient recovery and reconstruction.
Between 1984 and 2005, the World Bank financed 528 projects with disaster-related activities, totaling more than $26 billion, or just less than $1.2 billion a year. Since then, financing directly linked to disaster risk management has increased to more than $2.3 billion a year. Between 2006 and 2012, the World Bank financed 113 disaster prevention and preparedness operations ($7.9 billion) and 68 disaster reconstruction operations ($3.8 billion). In providing support for client countries, the World Bank promotes a comprehensive, multi-sector approach to managing disaster risk.
More than 20 countries are benefitting from increased capacity and better access to risk information for use in urban and land-use planning, disaster reduction investments and preparedness activities. Disaster risk management is also increasingly present in World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategies (CASs), including for Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Madagascar, Malawi, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Senegal, Togo, Vietnam and Yemen. Approximately 75 percent of CASs recognized natural disasters as a challenge to sustainable development, up from 46 percent in 2006.
Advisory services on disaster risk financing and insurance, including sovereign catastrophe risk financing and domestic catastrophe risk insurance markets, in more than 30 countries.
Cutting-edge country capacity building and technical assistance initiatives on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, such as the Mozambique Water Resources Development Project ($70 million), or the Metro Manila Flood Management Master Plan.
Design and implementation of projects aimed at improving weather, climate, and hydrological service delivery in Central Asia, Nepal, Mozambique, Yemen, Haiti, Mexico, Vietnam, Lao, and other countries.
Large-scale recovery and reconstruction programs such as the Horn of Africa Drought Response ($1.88 billion), Pakistan Earthquake ($1.05 billion), Bihar Floods ($220 million), Wenchuan Earthquake ($710 million), Pakistan Flood Emergency Cash Transfer Project ($125 million) etc.
Partnership development and catalyzing global knowledge sharing through high level events such as the Sendai Dialogue, the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR, the Understanding Risk Forum , the Random Hacks of Kindness, the 2013 Global Platform for DRR and the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
Since 2007, GFDRR-supported Post Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNAs) leveraged over $3.3 billion in disaster-specific medium- to long-term recovery and reconstruction investments. These investments are expected to lead to the reconstruction of at least 1.7 million homes, 600 health facilities and 2,300 schools, in turn permitting the return of some eight million displaced people to their homes and a restoration of health and education facilities for around three million people.
With on-going engagements in more than 25 countries, the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) enables more effective DRM decision-making by promoting broader access to climate and disaster risk information. This initiative is rapidly growing, especially through South Asia, where volunteers are generating fundamental data for risk assessments. In collaboration with development partners, the World Bank is working to embed this effort across the broader DRM community. The Banks also works on risk assessment methodologies and data use through CAPRA.
GFDRR supported the development of an action plan for improving weather and climate service delivery in low-income countries in Central Asia, which led to the development of a $ 27.7 million project funded by International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's fund for the world's poorest countries and Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), one of World Bank's Climate Investment Funds.
Around 11.4 million people are potential beneficiaries of strengthened financial resilience to natural hazards. For example, in India, more than two million farmers received indemnity payments after drought through the improved Agricultural Crop Insurance Scheme, supported by technical assistance from GFDRR.
Last Updated: Nov 15,2013
The World Bank works closely with a variety of partners on disaster risk management and response, including UN agencies, regional bodies such as the Africa Union, other multilateral development banks, economic communities such as ECOWAS, civil society organizations, technical agencies, and the private sector. Some of its partnerships and joint programs include:
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR): GFDRR is a partnership of 41 countries and 8 international organizations committed to helping developing countries reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and adapt to climate change. The partnership works to mainstream disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in country development strategies by supporting a country-led and managed implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action.
CAPRA Probablistic Risk Assessment Intiative: CAPRA is a Disaster Risk Information Platform for use in decision-making that is based on a unified methodology and tools for evaluating and expressing disaster risk. Building on—and strengthening—existing initiatives, CAPRA was developed by experts to consolidate hazard and risk assessment methodologies and raise risk management awareness.
Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR): The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, housed within the Strategic Climate Funds of the Climate Investment Fund, funds technical assistance and investments to support countries’ efforts to integrate climate risk and resilience into core development planning and implementation.
Understanding Risk Network: Understanding Risk is a community of global experts in the field of disaster risk assessment. UR community members share knowledge and experience, collaborate and discuss innovation and best practice in risk assessment.
Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI): OpenDRI aims to reduce the impact of disasters by empowering decisions-makers with better information and the tools to support their decisions. OpenDRI is currently implementing ideas in 25 countries to improve disaster and climate change resilience.
Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC): ADPC is a regional organization that promotes safer communities and sustainable development through disaster reduction. ADPC focuses on training and education; provision of technical services; information, research and networking support; and regional program management.