UNDRR report flags low investment in disaster prevention

by IANS |

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) On International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on Wednesday, a latest report titled 'International Cooperation in Disaster Risk Reduction' prepared by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has found that for every $100 spent on development aid, only 50 cents are invested in protecting countries from the impact of disasters.

"Financing for disaster risk reduction makes up a small fraction of the overall investments in development aid. $133 billion of disaster-related Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) has been made available between 2010 and 2019, which is 11 per cent of the overall aid ($1.17 trillion)," the report said, highlighting the low levels of investments in disaster prevention and disaster risk reduction for the world's most vulnerable countries.

It throws into stark relief how little investment there is in disaster risk reduction against a backdrop of major planetary emergencies, including doubling of major disaster events over the last 20 years.

Human-induced climate change affects many weather and climate extremes in every region of the globe, the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had flagged, adding that many of the changes in climate observed are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years.

The cost benefits of investing in prevention and resilience have been demonstrated time and time again, but for every $100 of disaster related ODA, only 50 cents are invested in protecting development from the impact of disasters.

Of this, $5.5 billion was aimed at risk reduction measures before disasters strike, compared to $119.8 billion spent on emergency/disaster response and $7.7 billion for reconstruction, relief and rehabilitation.

"Of the overall disaster-related ODA between 2010 and 2019, the $5.5 billion spent on DRR accounts for just 0.5 per cent of the total amount spent on disaster-related aid," it said.

"This is an indication that we need to ramp up investment in disaster prevention if we are to cope with the exponential rise of disaster events in recent decades. Covid-19 has claimed almost five million lives, causing huge economic disruption.

"The required level of investment in reducing the risk of a disease outbreak of this magnitude was not made despite warnings that a pandemic was inevitable. Extreme weather events are more frequent and international support to developing countries bearing the brunt of these disasters is very low," said Ricardo Mena, Director, UNDRR.

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