Over the past decade, the World Bank has emerged as the global leader in disaster risk management (DRM), supporting client countries in assessing exposure to hazards and addressing disaster risks. The World Bank Group (WBG) provides technical and financial support for risk assessments, risk reduction, preparedness, financial protection, and resilient recovery and reconstruction.
The World Bank’s annual DRM investment has increased from $3.7 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2012 to $4.5 billion in FY 2019. In providing support for DRM, the WBG promotes a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to managing disaster risk. All World Bank projects are now screened for climate and disaster risk to ensure that they build the resilience of people on the ground.
The Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice (GSURR) houses the World Bank’s core DRM specialists and leads engagement with client countries on disaster risk and resilience. The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a global partnership managed by the World Bank and supported by 33 countries and 11 international institutions, acts as a financing and technical body that supports DRM across the World Bank Group.
As reflected in its Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience, the World Bank Group is making adaptation and resilience a key priority, placing it on an equal footing with climate mitigation actions. Through the Action Plan, the World Bank commits to:
- Boost adaptation financing to reach $50 billion over FY21-25, more than double what was achieved during FY15-18,
- Drive a mainstreamed, whole-of-government programmatic approach, and
- Develop a new rating system to create incentives for, and improve the tracking of, global progress on adaptation and resilience.
The World Bank’s approach to delivering on its strategy is organized by areas of engagement, which support priorities for action outlined in the Sendai Framework, as well as contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. These areas of engagement include:
Science and innovation in disaster risk management
To build resilience to natural hazards, it is essential that communities and governments have access to information about disaster risk that is understandable and actionable. GFDRR continues to increase access to information on disaster risk by supporting advances in science, technology, and innovation that can further the understanding of disaster risk and help achieve this goal.
Promoting resilient infrastructure
Basic public services are frequently disrupted in the aftermath of a disaster. When restoring and maintaining them, financing and technical advice are needed to integrate disaster risk management principles into their design. The success of a dedicated program for building safer schools has led to the establishment of programs in other critical sectors, such as transport and water.
Scaling up the resilience of cities
Rapid urbanization in developing countries requires substantial and well-planned infrastructure investments to meet growing resource demands, enhance economic growth, and advance social development. The WBG’s City Resilience Program (CRP) works to empower cities to pursue comprehensive investment programs to strengthen resilience, and to access a broad range of ﬁnancing options. Since its establishment in June 2017, CRP has worked with 57 cities in 39 countries, influencing 20 ongoing and future investment projects for a combined $2.3 billion ($1.3 billion IDA and $975 million IBRD). Fifty-two Rapid Capital Assessments have been completed to help cities consolidate baseline information regarding their capacity and enabling environment for attracting private capital in infrastructure projects. CRP has delivered 13 City Resilience Scans which provide a series of maps, visualizations and analysis which spatially lay out the city’s risk information and the built environment.
Strengthening hydromet services and early warning systems
Mounting disaster costs have increased the need for accurate, timely, and usable information on the likely impacts of weather, climate, and hydrological hazards. Hydromet engagements offer technical expertise and capacity building, both to governments supporting the design of hydromet modernization programs and through engagement in the World Bank/WMO Africa Hydromet Initiative and the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems Initiative (CREWS).
Deepening financial protection
Disasters caused by natural hazards inflict an average of $165 billion in financial losses each year, far exceeding available development funds. Financial and technical assistance provided through the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program builds capacity for better financial planning, helping countries lower post-disaster financial impacts and protecting the lives and livelihoods of the poor.
Building social resilience
Through a combination of geographical context; financial, socioeconomic, cultural, and gender status; and access to services, decision making, and justice, socially marginalized groups are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards. The Inclusive Community Resilience program strengthens the resilience of these vulnerable groups by promoting community-led approaches to risk.
Deepening engagements in resilience to climate change
The World Bank and GFDRR help countries better understand their climate risk and assist with the design and implementation of investments to include climate-resilient measures. For example, the Small Island States Resilience Initiative engages national experts working on DRM and climate adaptation, and delivers scaled-up and more harmonized support for resilience to Small Island States.
Enabling resilient recovery
The World Bank and GFDRR are helping countries implement post-disaster damage and needs assessments, as well as recovery and reconstruction programs, based on the principle of building back better. Emphasis is placed on the development and distribution of knowledge products to build the capacity of key stakeholders in planning for rapid recovery and preparedness for future disasters.
Promoting resilience to climate change and enabling gender equality are both central to these areas of engagement, and these two themes are embedded into all World Bank DRM activities.
Last Updated: Sep 03,2019