April 4, 2019
On April 4, 2019, The World Bank Tokyo Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Hub welcomed Executive Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to share Japan’s experiences in Disaster Risk Management and the Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming DRM in Developing Countries projects and initiatives to date. This visit was organized as part of an Executive Directors’ trip organized by the IDB to learn from Japanese experiences in DRM, in response to increasing demands in risk prevention due to recent natural disasters in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Region, including massive earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions.
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Masato Miyazaki, the World Bank Special Representative for Japan, emphasized the importance of investing in disaster risk management in order to save lives and assets, and how this is critical in achieving the World Bank Group’s twin goals of poverty reduction and boosting shared prosperity. Mr. Miyazaki highlighted the common goals of the two institutions to advance investments in resilient infrastructure to mitigate the adverse effects of natural disasters and a changing climate, and the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing among multilateral development banks.
IDB Executive Directors (E.D.) Mr. Alex Foxley and José Guilherme Almeida dos Reis gave the opening remarks on behalf of the delegation and extended their gratitude for the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences in DRM with the Tokyo DRM Hub. E.D. Almeida dos Reis also highlighted the importance of investing in risk prevention in light of the recent increasing trends in natural disasters worldwide.
During the session, Ms. Sayaka Yoda, Program Officer of the Tokyo DRM Hub made a presentation on Japan’s Experience in DRM and the evolution of Japan’s DRM System. In her presentation, she gave an overview of the disaster management system in Japan and the Disaster Countermeasures Basic Act to explain how risk prevention is addressed in the legal and regulatory frameworks. Ms. Yoda highlighted that “The laws and the regulations are never set in stone, and Japan is constantly updating its laws, systems, and frameworks based on lessons learned from each disaster. Disasters are unpredictable and come unexpectedly, which is why the continuous improvement becomes important.”
Mr. Jared Mercadante, World Bank DRM Specialist introduced the “Japan World Bank Program for Mainstreaming DRM in Developing Countries” emphasizing the Program’s objectives and thematic priorities, as well as outcomes and results to date. Mr. Guillermo A. Siercke, World Bank DRM Specialist presented on the overall support by the Program to technical assistance activities in Latin America and the Caribbean Region. Finally, Mr. Daniel Levine, Senior Operations Officer of the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) gave an overview of the TDLC Program and shared the Program’s activities and modalities of knowledge exchanges.
The presentations were followed by active discussions between IDB Executive Directors and World Bank staff to learn more about the Japan-World Bank Program on Mainstreaming DRM in Developing Countries and to further explore the possibility of collaboration between the two institutions.
The event was moderated by Ms. Mika Iwasaki, co-Task Team Leader of the Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries.