World Bank report makes case for investments in disaster prevention

Prevention initiatives are worthy investments to help minimize human and economic losses in the aftermath of natural disasters, the World Bank said in a new report.

“The main message of this report is prevention pays, if done right,” said Apurva Sanghi, lead author of the report and senior economist at the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, according to Reuters.

Sanghi noted donor and recipient governments alike tend to focus on responding to the aftermath of disasters instead of spending money on prevention measures that could reduce the impact of earthquakes, floods and similar disasters on human lives and the economy.

“For far too long, the disaster field has been dominated by relief, recovery and reconstruction after a disaster strikes,” he said, according to Reuters. “There has been not enough on prevention and preparedness beforehand.”

Among the preventive measures highlighted in the report are the updating of existing basic infrastructure and investing in new, innovative ones. Governments can also consider giving incentives to promote proper urban planning and construction in villages and towns that are fast becoming cities, the report says.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.