The devastating impact of disasters on development
Disasters have a devastating impact on development. In the last 20 years the impact of disasters has left 4.4 billion people affected, 1.3 million killed. The economic losses from disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and flooding are now reaching an average of US$250 billion to US$300 billion each year, equivalent of the combined GDP of the 62 poorest countries in the world.
Disasters affect countries in different ways: while upper-middle and high-income countries accounted for 67% of disasters, low-income and lower-middle income countries accounting for only 33% of disasters but they face 81% of all deaths. High income countries accounting 47% of disasters face 64% of financial loss and 7% of all deaths ("Disaster risk reduction makes development sustainable" UNDP 2014).
Moreover, losses due to disasters have dramatically increased since the 1950s.
The financing of disaster risk reduction
Despite the losses encountered, DRR is chronically underfunded.
National governments bear the primary responsibility for reducing disaster risk, supported where required by the international community. Yet financing from these various sources is still largely failing to meet requirements.
For domestic financing, this is largely due to the challenge of ensuring that DRR is a budgetary priority. With international financing, the most important issue is that DRR remains a humanitarian issue, financed largely out of emergency budgets. This is not, however, a question of levels of financing from either domestic or international sources but one of complementarity, alignment, coordination and mutual accountability.
Although $13.5 billion of financing has been made available, it is a fraction of overall aid, less than 40 cents in every $100 (GFDRR 2013).
Read more: Financing Disaster Risk Reduction: International Aid Over 20 Years (GFDRR 2013) https://www.gfdrr.org/financingdisasterriskreductioninternationalaidover20years