• Disasters hurt the poor and vulnerable the most. From 1995 through 2014, 89% of storm-related fatalities were in lower-income countries, even though these countries experienced just 26% of storms.

    Over the past 30 years, more than 2.5 million people and almost $4 trillion have been lost to disasters caused by natural hazards, with global losses quadrupling from $50 billion a year in the 1980s to $200 billion in the last decade.

    The World Bank’s Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty report finds that almost 75% of the losses are attributable to extreme weather events, and climate change threatens to push an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. The Bank’s Unbreakable report finds that natural disasters have had large and long-lasting impacts on poverty.

    Population growth and rapid urbanization are driving the increase in disaster risks. The United Nations estimates that more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. The Bank’s Aftershocks report explains that these trends could put 1.3 billion people and $158 trillion in assets at risk from river and coastal floods alone. According to the Bank’s Investing in Urban Resilience report, by 2030, without significant investment into making cities more resilient, natural disasters may cost cities worldwide $314 billion each year.

    Mainstreaming disaster risk management into development planning can reverse the current trend of rising disaster impact. Furthermore, when countries rebuild stronger, faster and more inclusively after disasters, they can reduce the impact on people’s livelihoods and well-being by as much as 31%, potentially cutting global average losses.

    If countries act decisively, they can save lives and assets. However, many developing countries lack the tools, expertise, and instruments to factor the potential impacts of disasters into their investment decisions.

    Last Updated: Apr 05,2019

  • 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:

    1. Boost adaptation financing to reach $50 billion over FY21-25, more than double what was achieved during FY15-18,
    2. Drive a mainstreamed, whole-of-government programmatic approach, and
    3. 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

  • Results include: 

    • As part of the World Bank’s response to the 2018 earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, a rapid assessment of the damage‑affected areas in Central Sulawesi was conducted using the Global Rapid post‑disaster Damage Estimation (GRADE) methodology – a remote, desk-based, rapid damage assessment method deployed on request soon after a disaster.
    • Nature-based solutions (NBS) help countries use their own ecosystems to build resilience, avoid maladaptation, and protect their biodiversity. Since 2012, the World Bank has financed 76 investments and activities that use NBS to reduce flooding, coastal erosion, landslides, and droughts. In partnership with the World Resources Institute, the Bank released a report that shows how weaving the power of “green” natural systems, including flood plains and forests, into “gray” traditional infrastructure systems can lower cost and increase resilience.
    • The World Bank and GFDRR are partnering with governments and local communities in 12 cities across Africa to collect and share risk information through the Open Cities Africa project. In 2018-19, local teams mapped more than half a million geographical features and over 30,000  kilometers of road; trained approximately 500 people on digital cartography with a 41% female participation rate; and captured hundreds of square kilometers of drone imagery that will help inform the design of disaster risk management solutions.
    • The World Bank recognizes the essential role of culture in planning and funding projects for cities that have suffered the effects of disaster and war. The Bank and UNESCO jointly proposed a framework via the Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery (CURE) position paper. The framework is a culture-based approach to city reconstruction and recovery in post-conflict, post-disaster, and urban distress situations that accounts for the needs, values, and priorities of people.
    • As the World Bank continues to “build back better” to reduce annual disaster-related losses, the Global Program for Resilient Housing aims to help countries, cities, and communities “build better before” the next disaster by making homes safer and more resilient to natural hazards and climate change.
    • Held by the World Bank, Build Academy, Airbnb, GFDRR, and UN-Habitat, the Resilient Homes Design Challenge called on architects, engineers, designers and students to generate designs for affordable, disaster-resilient, and sustainable houses for people living in areas affected by – or vulnerable to – disasters caused by natural hazards. Winners were announced in December 2018 out of over 300 team submissions by more than 3,000 professionals from over 120 countries.
    • In Lebanon, Phase II of the Comprehensive Urban Resilience Master Plan for the City of Beirut is designed to improve the city’s technical understanding of key seismic, flooding, and coastal hazards, benefiting over 500,000 people. The project creates a centralized risk management system at the municipal level and a city resilience strategy, which will help mobilize city-level investments for risk reduction.
    • Through the Enhancing Resilience in Kyrgyzstan Project, the World Bank and GFDRR are helping the Kyrgyz Republic implement its State Program on Safe Schools and Preschools, which aims to improve the safety of all 3,228 educational facilities – comprising 1.5 million Kyrgyz students – in the country by 2024. The project builds upon lessons learned from similar projects undertaken in other countries through the Global Program for Safer Schools.
    • With support from the European Union (EU), GFDRR is managing two new programs that will support Caribbean countries to plan for long-term resilience and climate-smart growth strategies, and to design and implement innovative policy and investment initiatives. The Caribbean Regional Resilience Building Facility will help 15 Caribbean countries mainstream resilience, reduce vulnerability, and expand financial protection against disasters. The Technical Assistance Program for Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance in Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) will help the OCTs understand their financial exposure to disasters and their financial protection options, and facilitate knowledge sharing among OCTs.
    • The West African Coastal Areas Management Program (WACA) was developed by the World Bank Group in partnership with the people who live along the West African coast to improve the management of shared natural and man-made risks affecting coastal communities. The WACA program provides countries with access to technical expertise and finance to support sustainable development in the coastal zone, using management of coastal erosion and hazardous flooding as an entry point.
    • Following the 2018 floods in Kerala, India, which killed over 480 people and affected nearly 5.4 million, the government of Kerala, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank conducted a Joint Rapid Disaster Needs Assessment to quantify the damage and assess the long-term recovery needs. The assessment informs a recovery and resilience framework, with which the World Bank will help the Kerala finance and build resilient institutions, systems, and infrastructure to achieve the state government’s vision to build back better.

    Last Updated: Apr 05,2019

  • The World Bank Group and GFDRR work with more than 400 external partners on disaster risk management (DRM), including leading universities, the insurance sector, the risk modeling industry, civil society organizations, foundations, technical and development agencies of national governments, as well as the United Nations and other multilateral agencies.

    GFDRR manages special programs with Japan and the EU that cover DRM and natural disaster risk reduction (NDRR). The DRM Hub in Tokyo leverages good practice from Japan and around the world to support technical assistance and knowledge management activities. As part of its partnership with the EU, GFDRR manages an NDRR program with the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) and the EU, which supports DRM and climate change adaption activities in ACP countries by providing technical assistance, capacity building, and advisory and analytical work.

    Last Updated: Apr 05,2019



VIDEO May 10,2016

Understanding Disaster Risk

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