Overview

  • Disasters hurt the poor and vulnerable the most. From 1995 through 2014, 89% of storm-related fatalities were in lower-income countries, even though these countries experienced just 26% of storms.

    The impact of disasters will continue to grow as climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Global losses due to adverse natural events were estimated at $4.2 trillion between 1980 and 2014. During this period, such losses have increased rapidly, rising from $50 billion a year in the 1980s to nearly $200 billion a year in the last decade.

    The World Bank’s Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty report finds that almost 75% of the losses are attributable to extreme weather events, and climate change threatens to push an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. The Bank’s Unbreakable report finds that natural disasters have had large and long-lasting impacts on poverty.

    Population growth and rapid urbanization are driving the increase in disaster risks. The United Nations estimates that more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. According to the Bank’s Investing in Urban Resilience report, by 2030, without significant investment into making cities more resilient, natural disasters may cost cities worldwide $314 billion each year. Mainstreaming disaster risk management into development planning can reverse the current trend of rising disaster impact. If countries act decisively, they can save lives and assets. However, many developing countries lack the tools, expertise, and instruments to factor the potential impacts of disasters into their investment decisions.

    Last Updated: Oct 06,2017

  • Over the past decade, the World Bank has emerged as the global leader in disaster risk management (DRM), supporting client countries to 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. The World Bank’s annual DRM investment has increased steadily over the past six years—from $3.7 billion in FY12 to $4.4 billion in FY17.

    In providing support for DRM, the World Bank Group (WBG) promotes a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to managing disaster risk.

    The Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice (GSURR) houses the World Bank’s core DRM specialists and leads engagement with client countries on disaster risk and resilience.  The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a global partnership managed by the World Bank and supported by 37 countries and 11 international institutions, acts as a financing and technical body that supports DRM across the World Bank Group.

    The World Bank’s approach to delivering on its strategy is organized by priority areas of engagement, which support priorities for action outlined in the Sendai Framework, as well as contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. These areas of engagement include:

    Promoting open access to risk information

    An understanding of risk is the foundation upon which all disaster and climate resilience actions are built. GFDRR’s Innovation Lab uses cutting edge science and technology to create robust disaster risk information that is openly available and easily understandable by all actors responsible for managing disaster and climate risk. It also supports communities in mapping their exposure to disasters and climate change, ensuring that their voice and knowledge is part of the resilience solution.

    Promoting resilient infrastructure

    Publicly funded infrastructure, such as transport, health care, drinking water, sanitation, telecommunications, and electricity, must be designed as resilient, so that basic services are maintained during disaster, and infrastructure users are not put at risk by sub-standard structures. Furthermore, infrastructure development attracts population and investment, and its localization should be such that it steers development toward safer areas. The Global Program for Safer Schools (GPSS) works to make schools and the communities they serve more resilient to natural hazards – reducing physical impact on school infrastructure, minimizing disruption in education, and saving lives. GPSS has used technology and data analytics to guide intervention on a larger scale than ever before possible.

    Scaling up the resilience of cities

    Unless urban planning practices radically change, urbanization will remain one of the major drivers of the increase in risk in the next decades. The Resilient Cities program will support at least 30 cities over the next 4 years to develop and implement resilience plans through its partnership with the Medellín Collaboration. This program will align identified investments in resilience with viable financing strategies, ensuring that plans become actions.

    Strengthening hydromet services and early warning systems

    Governments around the globe are demanding better access to effective hydro-meteorological services and early warning systems, as success stories continue to highlight their value in saving lives and livelihoods. Hydromet engagements offer technical expertise and capacity building, both to governments supporting the design of hydromet modernization programs and through engagement in the World Bank/WMO Africa Hydromet Initiative and the Climate Risk Early Warning Initiative (CREWS).

    Deepening financial protection

    Securing access to financial resources before a disaster strikes is important. This includes instruments such as emergency funds, insurance mechanisms and contingency lines of credit such as the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO). The ability of governments to manage the financial impact of disaster and climate shocks is critical to long-term recovery and sustainable development. The Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) program builds governments’ financial capacity to withstand adverse natural events. This means working with governments to design climate-smart insurance programs, innovative financial instruments, and comprehensive financial protection strategies.

    Building resilience at community level

    The Inclusive Community Resilience (ICR) initiative taps into grassroots expertise in disaster risk management and promotes scalable models that engage directly with communities to empower them to lead resilience actions.

    Deepening engagements in resilience to climate change

    As the global climate changes, resilience projects planned today must be able to handle deep uncertainty about tomorrow’s climate. Through partnerships that cross sectors, the World Bank is helping countries design investments in resilience with future climate change in mind. For example, the Small Island States Resilience Initiative is rapidly building a community of practice among World Bank and national experts working on DRM and climate adaptation, and delivering scaled-up and more harmonized support for resilience to Small Island States.

    Enabling resilient recovery

    Resilient recovery engagements helping countries assess the impact of disasters and supporting recovery planning including in fragile and conflict situations. The World Bank and GFDRR have developed substantial knowledge and expertise in needs assessment and recovery planning. The Recovery Hub makes this knowledge freely accessible online, providing quick and timely guidance mainly to government officials and key decision makers involved in the recovery process following major disasters.

    Promoting resilience to climate change and enabling gender equality are both central to these areas of engagement, and these two themes are embedded into all World Bank DRM activities.

    Last Updated: Oct 06,2016

  • Results include:

    • Following the advent of Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane that struck in 2017, six Caribbean countries have become recipients of payouts amounting to $31 million under the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF SPC), a disaster-based insurance tool developed with assistance by the World Bank. In addition, Dominica has become the recipient of a CCRIF payout of $19 million, following the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. The CCRIF SPC has made payouts of over $100 million to 12 of its 17 member countries. It is one of several tools that the World Bank supports that afford countries quick access to financial resources after a disaster strikes.
    • The World Bank has led development of tools that help facilitate access to vital information. For example, the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) is a key component of the WBG’s commitment to building disaster and climate resilience in some of the world’s poorest regions. This initiative is currently active in more than 30 countries, mapping millions of buildings and urban infrastructure, and opening more than 1,500 geospatial datasets to the public.
    • WBG technical assistance, with financial support from GFDRR, helped the Peruvian government design and implement a $10 billion school retrofitting and rebuilding program for Peru’s education infrastructure. Through this program, the government retrofitted more than 29,000 buildings across the country, making schools safer from earthquakes and other natural disasters for over 2.5 million children.
    • Following the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, which claimed nearly 9,000 lives and destroyed almost 500,000 houses, the WBG deployed a team to provide advisory services and technical support for resilient recovery and reconstruction. Task teams helped ensure the integration of resilience measures in the recovery process, and helped the government secure pledges of $4.4 billion towards its recovery process.
    • The WBG is providing country capacity building and technical assistance initiatives on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, such as in the Philippines, where such support led the government to approve a $9 billion flood management plan for Metro Manila, and to systematize and institutionalize disaster recovery policies in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
    • The $550 million Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness project (ISMEP), has over the last decade helped Turkey mitigate some of the largest impacts from earthquakes and improve emergency response. This has included building and improving public structures, production of new command and control centers, procurement of equipment, vehicles and emergency communication and information management systems, and provision of emergency response and safety training. In all, some 7 million people have benefitted from ISMEP activities.
    • Burdened by years of poor rainfall and heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture, Ethiopia worked with the World Bank to create the $550 million Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), lifting over 7.5 million of its citizens from near-certain poverty with food, cash — or both — in exchange for directly helping build more resilient communities.
    • Since 2012, the World Bank, Norway, Japan, and the government of Senegal have invested over $70 million in the Storm Water Management and Climate Change Adaptation Project (PROGEP), which helped protect almost 100,000 people and more than 400 hectares from flooding during the Senegal’s 2015 rainy season.
    • In India, DRM investments factor in community participation and integrates resilience measures in post-disaster recovery. For example, following devastating floods in 2013, the State of Uttarakhand completed a housing reconstruction project in 2017, supporting 2,400 families to rebuild their houses with “build back better” principles. The National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Program helped build over 300 multi-purpose disaster shelters and install 600 early warning system towers in the coastal States of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to provide cyclone and storm surge alerts to communities.
    • The Central Asia Hydrometeorology Modernization Project aims to improve the accuracy and timeliness of forecasting in the region by strengthening the collection, sharing, processing and archiving of hydromet information. This project has reinforced early warning systems across the region, improving hydromet service delivery. This includes the Kyrgyz Republic, where the government has strengthened its use of early warning systems to inform communities of impending and ongoing natural hazards, particularly through TV and radio channels, to minimize disaster risks. This regional initiative has generated a $27.7 million program through the International Development Association and Pilot Program for Climate Resilience. 

    Last Updated: Oct 06,2016

  • The World Bank Group and GFDRR work with more than 400 external partners on disaster risk management (DRM), including leading universities, the insurance sector, the risk modeling industry, civil society organizations, foundations, technical and development agencies of national governments, as well as the United Nations and other multilateral agencies.

    GFDRR manages special programs with Japan and the European Union (EU) that cover DRM and natural disaster risk reduction (NDRR). In regards to the former, a DRM Hub in Tokyo was established in February 2014 that leverages good practice from Japan and around the world to support technical assistance and knowledge management activities. As part of its partnership with the EU, GFDRR manages an NDRR program with the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) and the EU, which supports DRM and climate change adaption activities in ACP countries by providing technical assistance, capacity building, and advisory and analytical work.

    Last Updated: Oct 06,2016