Disaster risk management is essential in the fight against poverty. Disasters can, in an instant, wipe out
decades of hard-fought poverty reduction and development gains and push countless households into
poverty. Disasters disproportionately affect the poor: Vulnerable and marginalized groups, including
women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, are at particular risk.
East Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster-stricken region in the world, suffering from both small
recurrent and rare high-impact events. East Asia is rapidly urbanizing, and cities are becoming disaster
hotspots. Unplanned or poorly planned urbanization, which puts more people and assets in harm's way,
is the single largest driver of disaster risk. There is much uncertainty about future disaster and climate risks,
challenging the region's ability to adapt to new developments and the changing physical and natural
Decision makers can make a significant difference by effectively managing disaster risk and building
resilience. Strong, Safe, and Resilient: A Strategic Policy Guide for Disaster Risk Management in East Asia and
the Pacific helps them to identify the key challenges, best practices, and priorities in the short, medium,
and long term. With communication, preparedness, and investments, urbanization can be channeled as a
positive force for development. By decreasing disaster exposure and vulnerability through systematic
assessments and communication of risks, better land-use planning, and many other practical measures,
the impacts of natural hazards can be reduced significantly. At the same time, it is necessary to recognize
that disaster risks cannot be entirely eliminated, and countries need to plan for failure by considering
different scenarios, especially within complex systems and networks.
Preventive investments in risk reduction and emergency preparedness can be cost-effective and can
greatly reduce the impact of natural hazards. By mainstreaming systematic risk assessments into relevant
public investment planning processes, governments can prioritize actions based on informed decisions
about the level of risk. Public investments, such as early-warning systems and retrofitting of critical
infrastructure at risk, planned and implemented together with communities and stakeholders, including
the private sector, can help to reduce poverty and promote sustainable economic growth.
Strong, Safe, and Resilient: A Strategic Policy Guide for Disaster Risk Management in East Asia and the Pacific
presents a comprehensive disaster risk management framework that offers practical opportunities for
targeted policy action and investments, stretching across sectors and jurisdictions and reaching all the
way to communities at risk and the most vulnerable populations. The World Bank supports countries
around the world in developing a comprehensive and integrated approach to disaster risk management
by providing analytical and advisory services, helping to build climate and disaster resilience into core
investments across sectors, and offering unique financial solutions to better manage the contingent fiscal
risks from disasters.
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