Monday, September 23, 2013

Disaster risk reduction gets only 0.4 percent of aid

Megan Rowling at the Thomson Reuters Foundation: The international community spent $13.5 billion on reducing the risk of disasters in the past two decades, just 40 cents for every $100 of aid, and a tiny amount compared with the $862 billion in disaster losses suffered by developing countries, according to a new study.

The report from the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said funding for disaster risk reduction (DRR) has been concentrated in a small number of middle-income countries, such as China and Indonesia, with many high-risk nations - especially poor, drought-prone states in sub-Saharan Africa - receiving negligible financing.

The top ten countries received nearly $8 billion between them, and the remaining 144 just $5.6 billion combined. The inequity of disaster risk reduction spending is clear when broken down on a per capita basis. Ecuador, the second-highest recipient per capita, got 19 times more than Afghanistan, 100 times more than Costa Rica and 600 times more than Democratic Republic of Congo , for example.

There has been some progress in protecting people and their assets from floods and other disasters caused by natural hazards, the report said. National governments have started to put in place more effective ways of warning and evacuating their populations, as well as reducing their vulnerability to economic shocks.

"Lives have been saved, livelihoods protected and resilience built. However, we need more, faster and better action to contain the current trend of risk," the report said...

Waves from Typhoon Talas in 2011, shot by Stephen Wheeler, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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