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How to build back better after a hurricane... and before the next

Imagine relocating the entire population of your country in the face of a colossal hurricane and two months later still not being able to get back…


In the business of building resilience

As frequently volatile storms, floods and droughts indicate, the impact of both climate change and natural hazard risks is growing. Addressing these challenges, and ensuring that countries are able to…  


Climate action to tackle hurricanes

“To deny climate change is to deny a truth we have just lived.” With these words, delivered at the UN General Assembly on 23 September, the Prime Minister of Dominica alluded to the situation in his…  


The pros and cons of ethical debt instruments

In May, the World Bank issued the world’s first bond linked explicitly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Labelling them “SDG bonds”, the bank raised 163 million euros from institutional…  


A humanitarian crossroads: Why climate resilience is key to avoiding future food crises

The world is seeing its worst humanitarian crisis since 1945. Right now, over 20 million people are at risk of starvation. We are at a crossroads. The current food crisis can very easily be linked…  


Disaster risk reduction and sustainable development, two sides of the same coin

This message came out forcefully during the Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, held last week in Montreal, Canada, at which delegates debated the connections between…  


El Nino happens every 3-7 years. How can Africa be better prepared?

Some 60 million people’s lives have been affected by the 2015-2016 El Niño phenomenon in the Horn and Southern Africa. It was the strongest El Niño since 1950. Severe droughts have led to crop failure…  


A changing climate throws water out of balance in Asia and the Pacific

Every morning I jump on the Chao Phraya Express Boat to get to work. It’s a short trip, but on yet another sultry morning in Bangkok, it’s nice to feel the breeze as we slice through the muddy waters…  


Climate risk management in Latin America and the Caribbean

In Mayan mythology, the god Huracán originated from the heart of heaven to rule the thunder, lightning, winds and storms. For the Caribbean Tainos, Juracán represented an evil god. In 1494 Christopher…  


Latin America and the Caribbean at the forefront of climate action

Latin American and Caribbean countries have long been at the forefront in climate negotiations and have demonstrated their commitment to taking action. The region is diverse and hosts some of the top…  


Why we can hope for better crisis response in 2017

Despite the horror of 2016, in Syria, Yemen, Lake Chad Basin and many other areas, I remain hopeful that the international community will deliver on its big promises to change the way it works.…  


Early recovery in Haiti: Localize the relief effort to avoid the aid dependency trap

Exactly one month ago, Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc in Haiti. More than 1.4 million people still need assistance; more than 140,000 people have been displaced and in some areas crops were…  



Nature to the rescue: Using ecosystem services to reduce flood risks

From the mouth of the Mississippi to that of the Nile, communities have been drawn to coastal flood plains throughout the centuries. Where rivers and oceans meet, nature is at its best, and river…  


Addressing climate-induced risks in an urbanizing world

Having lived my entire life in big cities, I always had a feeling that cities were safe from the vagaries of disasters -- which occurred in some distant rural area and never closer to home. Once in a…  


What does ‘risk-informed’ development finance really look like?

How to tackle various forms of risk – from extreme weather events to commodity price shocks, disease outbreaks and over-indebtedness – was high on the agenda of the 2017 Financing for Development…  

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