Resilience investment “opportunity” for private sector

Mami Mizutori speaks at the ASEAN conference of the World Economic Forum (c) World Economic Forum / Sikarin Thanachaiary
 
By Jeanette Elsworth

13 September 2018, Ha Noi – Mami Mizutori, the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, has highlighted the opportunity and benefit to businesses of investing in disaster risk mitigation.

“It’s not enough anymore just to respond,” said Ms Mizutori, who is also the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. “We need to prepare, we need to prevent.”

Ms Mizutori made the comments while speaking at the ASEAN meeting of the World Economic Forum in Vietnam, even as Super Typhoon Mangkhut was building up to hit Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

Each year, natural disasters drive 26 million people into poverty. In 2017, a further 11.2 million people were displaced, making natural disaster a larger cause of human displacement than conflict. At the same time, disasters have cost the global economy USD 2.5 trillion since 2000.

Reducing economic loss is the topic explored this year by the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, to be marked on 13 October, and outlined Target c of the Sendai Framework – the global roadmap for disaster risk reduction.

Unplanned urbanization, non-resilient infrastructure and poor land management are all drivers of risk when it comes to natural disasters, and according to OECD, a global annual investment of $6.3 trillion is necessary up until 2030 in order to mitigate these risks.

And with such great investment, the risk is also potentially huge. As Michael Kwok, Chairman, East Asia Region, Arup, Hong Kong SAR, China, put it, “The risk of not having resilience built into urban infrastructure is so big.”

VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018 VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018.
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