According to the 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR15), economic losses from disasters amount to US$250-300 billion each year.
The report, prepared by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, estimates that an annual investment of US$6 billion in disaster risk management would generate US$360 billion over the next 15 years through avoided losses.
4 March 2015: According to the 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR15), economic losses from disasters amount to US$250-300 billion each year. The report, prepared by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, estimates that an annual investment of US$6 billion in disaster risk management would generate US$360 billion over the next 15 years through avoided losses.
GAR15, part of a series of biennial reviews and analyses of disaster risk and risk management, argues that sustainable development cannot be achieved without reducing disaster risk. It presents evidence that a strengthened commitment to disaster risk reduction (DRR) is critical for the success of three topical multilateral processes, and for achieving synergies between then, namely: the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA); the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and the UN Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015, which is expected to reach a global agreement on climate change.
Among its key results GAR15 finds that, inter alia: despite improvements, disaster-related losses remain substantial; the cost of disasters is equivalent to that of major diseases; resources countries should set aside to cover future disaster losses, totalling US$314 billion per year, which represent a significant opportunity cost; expected future losses threaten development in lower-income countries and represent an existential threat for small island developing States (SIDS); and, while countries have reported substantial progress in strengthening of institutional and legislative arrangements for DRR, most resources are invested in strengthening capacities, with little progress in policy mainstreaming and private sector engagement.
Sub-titled, ‘Making Development Sustainable: The Future of Disaster Risk Management,’ GAR15 presents a review of the decade that has passed since the adoption of the HFA at the Second UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Kobe, Japan. GAR15 is also intended as a contribution to the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which is expected to adopt a new global agreement on DRR to update the HFA.
The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be held from 14-18 March 2015, in Sendai City, Japan. Noting the critical timing of the report, on the eve of a major DRR conference, the Secretary-General suggested “sustainability starts in Sendai.” He added that the report showed “how investing in risk prevention pays high dividends while saving lives” and “charts a path toward a more disaster-resilient future.”
Highlighting that climate-related disasters currently account for 80% of all disaster events, Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for DRR, called for the Sendai conference to “provide clear, action-oriented guidance” to key stakeholders on the best ways to address the underlying drivers of risk, including poverty, the decline of protective ecosystems and climate change. [UN Secretary-General Press Release] [UNISDR Press Release on GAR15 Launch] [UN Video on GAR15 Launch] [Publication Website] [Publication: Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015] [Pocket GAR15] [UNISDR Press Release on Climate Change]