Disaster Statistics

Counting the costs and impact

Data and statistics are important in understanding the impacts and costs of disasters.

Systematic disaster data collection and analysis can be used to inform policy decisions to help reduce disaster risks and build resilience.

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"Access to information is critical to successful disaster risk management. You cannot manage what you cannot measure."
-- Margareta Wahlström, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction

The need for systematic data for disaster mitigation and prevention is an increasing concern of both development and response agencies. In the past, data needs were addressed on an ad hoc basis, which included collecting the information at the time of the emergency. However, there is a growing importance and understanding that data collection, analysis, and management can help both short and long-term development goals and help to identify and address disaster risks.

UNISDR is supporting countries to develop disaster loss databases.

The evolution of technology has allowed public and private sector organizations to capture, store, and analyze data in a structured way. UNISDR believes that capturing the composition, spatial distribution, and impacts of disasters is the first step in addressing disaster risks and finding solutions to build resilient communities. UNISDR has translated this belief into training and supporting governments to develop disaster loss databases, as well as to work with a variety of partners to share data. The result and analysis of this data is highlighted in the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction which is released every two years.

While collecting disaster data is a complex task and challenges remain in standardized methodologies and definitions, the following lists data sources used by UNISDR.



Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific.
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