Reducing Disaster Risk, A Challenge for Development

23 May 2012


This Report is premised on the belief that in many countries the process of development itself has a huge impact — both positive and negative — on disaster risk. It shows how countries that face similar patterns of natural hazards — from floods to droughts — often experience widely differing impacts when disasters occur. The impact depends in large part on the kind of development choices they have made previously. As countries become more prosperous, for example, they are often better able to afford the investments needed to build houses more likely to withstand earthquakes. At the same time, the rush for growth can trigger haphazard urban development that increases risks of large-scale fatalities during such a disaster. The same is true in many other areas.While humanitarian action to mitigate the impact of disasters will always be vitally important, the global community is facing a critical challenge: How to better anticipate — and then manage and reduce — disaster risk by integrating the potential threat into its planning and policies.

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