New Report Tackles Critical Challenges in Climate and Disaster Risk Financing for Small Island Developing States

November 10, 2016

Washington, D.C., November 10, 2016—A new report, Climate and Disaster Resilience Financing in Small Island States shows that, in spite of increasing climate risks, only 14 percent of development aid for vulnerable small island nations addresses climate change and natural disasters.

The report, prepared by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), shows that more than 335 major natural disasters have occurred in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) since 2000, resulting in an estimated US$22.7 billion in direct damages.  Yet, efforts to build resilience to climate change and disasters are being hampered by a highly complex web of global financing, creating acute fragmentation.   

The result is often a confusing array of dozens of small projects – half of which are below $200,000 each and collectively account for only 2 percent of all support – creating large inefficiencies and a lack of broad impact. The report also found that while SIDS received US$783 million a year in climate and disaster resilience financing during 2011-2014, the proportion of grant financing has been declining.  

“When a single extreme weather event can cause losses that exceed a small island country’s GDP by several times, governments need a more comprehensive approach to manage risk effectively,” said John Roome, Senior Director of the Climate Change Group at the World Bank.  “We are working with our partners to ensure that Small Island Developing States have the tools they need to protect both their citizens and their economies, and are able to channel incoming financing where it is most needed.”

“Sustaining development progress in the midst of an increasingly volatile climate is no easy task, especially for communities within SIDS,” says Jorge Moreira da Silva, OECD Development Director. “However, with greater international cooperation and by harnessing emerging financial innovations, governments and donors can steer vital financing to build lasting resilience for these countries, and create a safer and more prosperous future.”

The report calls for more coordinated, predictable and long-term financing for climate and disaster risk that is tailored to the needs of small islands.  It also advocates for strengthened enabling policies and institutions in SIDS to ensure funds for managing climate risk are used more effectively.

Read the full report here


About the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

Managed by the World Bank, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is a global partnership that helps developing countries better understand and reduce their vulnerabilities to natural hazards and adapt to climate change. GFDRR is supported by 34 countries and 10 international organizations. Working with over 400 local, national, regional, and international partners, GFDRR provides grant financing, technical assistance, training and knowledge sharing activities to mainstream disaster and climate risk management in policies and strategies.


About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit,, and


About the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OECD fosters policy dialogue and peer learning globally, seeking and promoting solutions to common challenges. The OECD is working in partnership with other institutions as well as with donor and recipient governments to help maximize the full potential of development finance, particularly of scarce Official Development Assistance (ODA) flows to countries most in need, and to support the development of financial instruments and approaches that are tailored to their specific circumstances and needs. 

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