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Workshop on Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction: International Experience and Best Practices

June 12, 2008

In response to the devastating earthquake that struck Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008, the Government of China and the World Bank jointly organized a workshop on Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction: International Experience and Best Practices in Beijing on June 12, 2008. The objective of the meeting is to share international experience and lessons learned from previous post-disaster reconstruction and recovery planning efforts worldwide. It is anticipated that the Government of China will utilize the pertinent lessons learned and information presented to inform its own reconstruction and recovery planning efforts in earthquake affected areas.

To set the discussion in a broader disaster risk management context, meeting presenters discussed the conceptual framework of designing a comprehensive reconstruction and recovery program, as well as the rationale for conducting a comprehensive damage and loss assessment following a disaster in order to lay the foundation for the reconstruction and recovery planning. Speakers from India, Turkey, and the United States gave tangible examples of post-disaster reconstruction experiences following the Gujarat Earthquake (India), the Marmara Earthquake (Turkey), Hurricane Katrina, and the Northridge Earthquake (US).

World Bank specialists and other international experts also presented sectoral perspectives related to post-disaster recovery, and shared lessons related to issues such as: housing reconstruction, environmental considerations, livelihood support, health and education programs, transportation networks, and dam safety. Longer term risk management aspects, such as catastrophic risk financing, was also explored as an option for the Chinese Government to consider.