In many years, Japan and the World Bank have been working together to support Disaster Risk Management (DRM) efforts by disaster-prone developing countries. In April 2013, the Government of Japan announced Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming DRM in Developing Countries. Subsequently, World Bank DRM Hub, Tokyo was established within the World Bank Tokyo Office. As part of its outreach and knowledge activities, Tokyo DRM Hub, the World Bank Tokyo Office and Japan Bosai Platform co-organized the 5th public seminar titled “The Role of the Private Sector in Building Resilience to Disasters”.
Private enterprise is part of what makes societies resilient. As a provider of jobs and supplier of goods and services, a business that is prepared for disaster can help the community and country in which it operates bounce back from a crisis, and recover in the longer term. Business continuity planning is not only about protecting profit; it’s a critical strategy for communities to withstand shocks. Moreover, the private sector is an important supplier of knowledge, financial services and technology that contributes to effective disaster risk management (DRM). Information and communications technology (ICT) firms, for example, are making many pioneering efforts to apply ICT solutions to DRM challenges, such as providing timely early warning to the most remote and vulnerable communities.
A number of headline-grabbing disasters, such as the 2010 floods in Bangkok, Thailand, have highlighted the vulnerability of private industry, and its role in building a more resilient future. Floods not only destroyed physical infrastructure such as factories, warehouses and communication lines, they disrupted global supply chains in a cascading effect of impacts that rippled around the world. This is not just a problem for the companies involved; this is a challenge for economies and societies at large. Once the waters subside, the bigger challenge of reducing risks in developing countries is one that is not achievable by public funds alone. Private finance is an increasingly important factor in how infrastructure projects are realized and the role of public-private partnerships in achieving resilience at scale is critical to understand in any national DRM strategy.
This public seminar aimed to explore the connections between the private sector and disaster resilience, and hear from Japanese experience in this field. Representatives from Japanese private sector discussed the role of the private sector in building resilience in Japan and overseas.
Speakers’ Bio (PDF)
Yasusuke Tsukagoshi Special Representative, Japan, the World Bank Tokyo Office
Sari K. Söderström Director, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, World Bank Group
Takeshi Nakawake Executive Vice President, Member of the Board, NIKKEN SEKKEI LTD
Presentation Material (PDF)
Sandra Wu Chair of UNISDR Private Sector Advisory Group, Chairperson and CEO of Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd
Presentation Material (PDF)
Francis Ghesquiere Manager, Disaster Risk Management Practice Group and Head of GFDRR Secretariat, World Bank Group
Naohiro Nishiguchi President, Japan Bosai Platform, Japan Bosai Platform
Q & A's
Sari SÖDERSTÖM Feyzioğlu
Director, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice
Sari Söderström Feyzioğlu is the Director for the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice at the World Bank Group. She assumed this position on July 1, 2014, under a stronger institutional structure focused on ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent.
As Director, Ms. Söderström leads the Practice’s engagement in territorial and rural development, and sustainable land management – an increasingly important part of the Bank Group’s work in sustainable development.Before this, she was the Senior Manager for the Bank’s Africa Sustainable Development Department, with 420 staff and an overall portfolio of about 250 projects.
She has also worked as Sector Manager for Environment, Program Coordinator and Task Team Leader for agriculture, environment, and natural resources in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the East Asia and Pacific regions, including five years as the Bank’s Rural Sector Coordinator for China based in Beijing.
A Finnish and Swedish national, she joined the Bank in 1993 as a Young Professional with a degree in economics from the University of Stockholm, Sweden.