A recent World Bank report notes that the impact of extreme natural disasters is equivalent to a global $520 billion loss in annual consumption, and forces some 26 million people into poverty each year. A functional response reduces felt consequence and enables rapid recovery, reducing cumulative impacts to public safety and the economy. Emergency preparedness and response (EP&R) capacity must keep pace with development and demographics to ensure these gains are not lost because of disaster and emergencies. Consequently, a well capacitated EP&R system is the first line of defense for investments and country development.
Japan’s experience in comprehensive emergency management approaches point to important elements and lessons relevant to developing countries. Over the years, Japan has evolved its disaster management system to address all phases of a disaster from disaster prevention, mitigation, and preparedness, to emergency response, recovery, and rehabilitation. The system clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of national and local government agencies while also enlisting the cooperation of relevant stakeholders in both the public and private sector. To achieve such a robust disaster risk management system, Japan continually assesses the capacity of its related systems to better prepare and react to anticipated large-scale disasters.
The World Bank Tokyo Disaster Risk Management Hub’s Knowledge Program on Emergency Preparedness and Response is harnessing Japanese knowledge and expertise on emergency management to enhance the understanding and practice of effective, high-functioning capacity EP&R systems. The Hub’s EP&R Knowledge Program aims to capture high-value Japanese experience in EP&R on topics of high-demand from World Bank task teams and clients for practical dissemination of approaches and lessons from Japan. Partners include the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), CITYNET, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Municipalities (e.g. Yokohama City).