Overview

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

The impact of disasters will continue to grow as climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. According to Munich Reinsurance Company, 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. Analysis performed for Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty, a report, almost 75 percent 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.

Economic development, population growth, and rapid urbanization are driving the increase in disaster losses. According to the United Nations, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. 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: Sep 19,2016

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 WBG’s DRM portfolio has increased by nearly 50% in the past five years, from $3.7 billion in FY12 to $5.5 billion in FY16.

In providing support for DRM, the 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 34 countries and 10 international institutions, acts as a financing and technical body that supports DRM across the World Bank Group.

Thematic initiatives targeting areas such as small island states, disaster risk financing, school safety, and hydrometeorology are central to delivering the work of the DRM operational group with high technical quality.

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.

The Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance initiative (DRFI) 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.

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.

The Hydromet initiative offers a mechanism for sharing lessons and experiences from World Bank operations involving the modernization of weather, climate, and hydrological services, as well as a platform for discussing cutting-edge thinking on these issues. It also aims to foster links between Bank operations and research/policy institutions and promote a culture of joint learning with partner countries. Being able to predict weather patterns and their effects is central to how governments and communities anticipate disaster, and can protect lives and livelihoods.

Last Updated: Sep 19,2016

Results include:

• The 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.

•  The Bank Group is working with risk modeling firms to develop catastrophe models, such as the first catastrophe risk model in the South Pacific, which now supports the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Program (PCRAFI). This “cat risk” model builds on the Pacific Risk Information System, the first regional database with over 3.5 million geo-referenced buildings and infrastructure in 15 Pacific island countries.  

• 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 working with officials from all government ministries supported assessments of disaster impacts that informed recovery efforts, 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 increasingly tailoring its proven post-disaster needs assessment methodology and expertise to complex conflict and fragile situations. In Syria, for example, the WBG and partners used satellite imagery and social media analytics to conduct a preliminary Damage Needs Assessment (DNA), which has helped scale-up a pilot program to amass a wider picture of what is damaged, and where.

•  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 and GFDRR 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.

Last Updated: Sep 19,2016

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 UN 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: Sep 19,2016


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