Developing Countries: Natural Disasters

Department for International Development written question – answered on 22nd December 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of people, including children, who continue to suffer the consequences of predictable and preventable disasters globally, and what assessment they have made of the case for Disaster Risk Reduction being included in all development assistance programmes in high-risk countries.

Photo of Baroness Verma Baroness Verma The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

DFID uses the global assessment undertaken by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology for Disasters (CRED). CRED estimates that in 2014 107.3 million people were affected by disasters caused by natural hazards such as drought, earthquakes and floods. A DFID funded report recognises that, although there is limited available data, women and children are disproportionately affected by disasters.

In 2012 DFID undertook a study which highlighted the case to invest in measures to build resilience to natural hazards, including Disaster Risk Reduction. The study proved that investing in disaster resilience in advance of shocks or in the early stages of a crisis saves lives and is more cost-effective than humanitarian aid provided after a disaster strikes. It found that, for instance, in Kenya, over a 20 year period, every $1 spent on disaster resilience resulted in $2.90 saved in the form of reduced humanitarian aid, avoided losses and development gains. Since 2011 DFID has undertaken a process to embed disaster resilience in all our country programmes, resulting in the inclusion of disaster risk reduction when appropriate. The Political Champions for Resilience Group has ensured building resilience has been institutionalised in donors, aid agencies and national governments. Strengthening resilience and response to crises is one of the four priorities of the 2015 UK Aid Strategy, Tackling Global Challenges in the National Interest.

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