A report marking the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction has found that many deaths and economic losses from natural disasters can be avoided by investing in preventive risk reduction measures.
Climate-related disasters have nearly doubled in the past 20 years, with developing countries bearing the brunt of the damage. Although extreme weather events and other emergencies are on the rise, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction says very little money is being allocated to help countries prevent or reduce risks.
The report found that $133 billion in official development aid was allocated for disaster-related aid between 2010 and 2019, but only $5.5 billion in measures to mitigate risks and reduce the impact of disasters it was done.
According to the report, for every $100 spent on disaster-related development aid, only 50 cents goes to protecting development from the effects of disasters.
Ricardo Mena, director of the Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said low-level funding should be better targeted to meet the needs of poorer, more vulnerable countries.
He said, “One would think that countries that are more prone to disasters and experience higher mortality rates would be the ones where DRR, disaster risk reduction, financing would be allocated the most. But unfortunately not so. Is.” “In areas where high mortality rates are likely, insufficient investment is being provided to prevent future disasters.”
Mena said failure to invest in DRR is like buying a good car with no brakes.
“Investing in DRR, we know it makes sense and, in terms of cost-benefit, it is quite positive,” he said. “So, yes, we are saying that it is better to attack the underlying factors of risk then to spend more money at a time when disasters really do happen.”
Academic studies show that every dollar invested in disaster risk reduction prevention can result in savings of $3 to $15 in disaster damages.
MENA is calling for increased funding to help poor countries adapt to climate change and implement national strategies for disaster risk reduction.