As government representatives and experts from around the world gather in Japan to endorse a post-2015 framework for global disaster risk reduction, the World Bank Group has today emphasized that increasing resilience and disaster risk reduction are central to alleviating poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

“Resilience and development are inextricably linked. When we invest in infrastructure, we have to invest not just for today but for the future, and that means building resilience into everything we do,” explained Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change.

To help communities build resilience to shocks from natural hazards and help protect development, the World Bank-managed Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is leveraging partnerships to scale up targeted disaster risk management initiatives in vulnerable countries.

During the last fiscal year, grants, technical assistance, and knowledge-sharing activities helped low-capacity countries secure almost $1.5 billion in World Bank financing, in addition to funding from other partners.

Mozambique, for example, benefitted from a comprehensive risk assessment of schools, resulting in a nationwide investment plan to rehabilitate or build 30,000 classrooms using disaster-proofing guidelines. Meanwhile, in Djibouti a new system for disaster risk communications and emergency protocols is revolutionizing the way that country deals with drought and floods—a flash flood in March 2013 resulted far fewer casualties (13) compared with a similar flood in 2004 that claimed 230 lives.

With disasters becoming more common and frequent with an ever changing climate, ‘planning for the worst’ must assume a central role in development.  Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President

Moving forward, GFDRR is strategically applying its knowledge, experience, and convening power to help ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are aligned and include disaster risk management targets.

“The year ahead offers a unique opportunity to take this momentum to the next level – starting in Sendai, and later in Addis Ababa and Paris,” Kyte said. “Through these defining development and climate negotiations, we can ensure that resilience is fully integrated in the post-2015 development framework.”

By sustaining and expanding global commitments to bring disaster resilience to scale, the development community has the potential to make real, sustainable change in the lives and futures of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.

via World Bank