New World Bank Report on Disaster Risk Management

The World Bank recently released a report warning that cities are ill-prepared for the rise in natural disasters that climate change will incur.

According to the report, over USD 158 trillion will be at risk by 2050 if no preventative action is taken. The authors cast a spotlight on disaster risk assessment, which they state is static, because it focuses only on understanding current risks. “A paradigm shift is needed toward dynamic risk assessments, which reveal the drivers of risk and the effectiveness of policies focused on reducing risk,” says the report.

The report was released by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), an arm of the World Bank that focuses on disaster risk management. According to GFDRR, between 1995 and 2014, lower-income countries experienced 26 percent of storms, but suffered 89 percent of global storm-related fatalities. Climate change would put these countries at even greater levels of risk for damages due to natural disasters.

“With improvements in data collection, we can obtain higher-resolution topographic and exposure data and can simulate trends in population movement and urbanization. At this stage, it is important both to review the range of efforts to quantify future risk, and to consider how to best apply this information in managing risk,” say the report’s authors.

The report, entitled The Making of a Riskier Future: How Our Decisions are Shaping the Future of Disaster Risk, can be found here.

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