“UNISDR expects that GAR13 will have a profound effect on how disaster risk is managed by major corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises in the future. We are looking to achieve a paradigm shift from simple business continuity planning and disaster response to integrating disaster risk reduction into business planning in the same way as cyber security or financial audits,” UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström said at the end of a two-day meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, attended by the report’s Editorial Advisory Board.
The report comes as disasters increase in size and impact, and as calls for the private sector to play a bigger role in disaster mitigation and prevention efforts become more pronounced. In a four-page report released earlier this year, UNISDR said an estimated 25 percent of businesses “do not reopen following a major disaster,” and 75 percent of companies that do not have business continuity plans “fail within three years of a disaster.”
The report is expected to make the case for businesses to invest in disaster risk reduction, and for governments to include disaster risk management in their economic agenda.
“How the private sector and governments take on board the key findings of this report will influence trillions of dollars of investment in critical infrastructure in years to come,” Wahlstrom said.
Disaster risk reduction accounted for only 3.4 percent of DAC countries’ total humanitarian aid spending in 2010, according to a Global Humanitarian Assistance briefing paper in October.
The report will be presented May 21-23 at the Fourth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva. The event will be attended by several heads of state, government ministers, lawmakers, CEOs, scientists and civil society representatives. It will be the last Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction “before the world decides on a new framework for disaster risk in 2015,” according to Wahlström.
Jenny Lei Ravelo is a staff writer for Devex. She covers breaking international development news in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and the Pacific for the Development Newswire, often focusing on aid worker security. Jenny is also a regular contributor to the GDB and other Devex publications.