Subscriptions: RSSEmail

World Bank, the (WB)

Organization Profile


Since its inception in 1944, the World Bank has expanded from a single institution to a closely associated group of five development institutions. The mission has evolved from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) as facilitator of post-war reconstruction and development to the present day mandate of reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity worldwide. The five institutions composing the World Bank Group are IBRD, International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). IBRD and IDA together are commonly referred to as “The World Bank,” with IBRD aiming to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries and IDA focusing exclusively on low-income countries.

The World Bank’s projects and operations are designed to support low-income and middle-income countries’ poverty reduction strategies. It does so within each country’s specific socio-economic context, adapting programmes to country capacity and needs. The World Bank provides low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing countries for a wide array of purposes that include investments in disaster recovery and risk mitigation, education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. The World Bank also provides technical assistance, capacity development, policy advice, research and analysis.

While the World Bank traditionally plays a key role in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, it has and will continue to increase its involvement in longer term disaster risk reduction. While the World Bank traditionally plays a key role in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, it has and will continue to increase its involvement in longer term disaster risk reduction.

The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a partnership financing mechanism that includes 43 country governments from developed, emerging and developing countries, as well as eight international organizations, serves as the World Bank’s focal point for disaster risk reduction and recovery. Together with major donors and the UN, the World Bank in 2006 launched GFDRR to support the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and thereby address the needs of vulnerable countries and provide coherent approaches globally and regionally to risk reduction and recovery by using the ISDR system. The GFDRR is managed by the World Bank on behalf of the participating donor partners and other partnering stakeholders. It offers a unique business model for advancing disaster risk reduction based on ex ante support to high risk countries and ex post assistance for accelerated recovery and risk reduction after a disaster. This partnership has been successful in raising the profile of disaster risk reduction for sustainable development. Five pillars of action provide the operational framework for GFDRR’s strategic approach: risk identification, risk reduction, preparedness, financial protection and resilient reconstruction. The World Bank’s Global Expert Team (GET) for Disaster Risk Management provides high quality rapid advisory support to Governments. support of these strategic priorities. GET consists of World Bank staff and experts from its partner organizations with global expertise in disaster risk management.

Disaster Reduction Goal

The World Bank envisions a world in which resilient societies manage and adapt to emerging disaster risks and where the human and economic impacts of disasters are reduced. The World Bank therefore aims to incorporate risk reduction into development assistance in disaster-prone countries, leveraging investments that build resilience.

The overarching objective is to mainstream disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in country development strategies, such as Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSP), Country Assistance Strategies (CAS), and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) to reduce vulnerabilities to natural hazards. This is done through providing analytical, technical and operational support to countries for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Policies and Programmes in DRR

View 2011 World Bank DRR profile

The World Bank has made significant progress toward mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in its programs. On average, 7 out of every 10 Country Assistance Strategies (CAS) now at a minimum recognize natural disasters as a challenge or a risk to sustainable development, compared with 4 out of 10 in 2006. Similarly, in line with a commitment made in the context of the IDA 16 Replenishment, vulnerability to climate change was discussed in all 2012 (fiscal year) CAS products, compared to 32% in 2007 (fiscal year).

World Bank financing for disaster risk reduction has also become more strategic. Between 1984 and 2006 the World Bank financed more than $26 billion disaster-related projects, or just less than $1.2 billion a year. Since then, financing directly linked to disaster risk management has increased to more than $2.3 billion a year (totaling $11.7 billion). The World Bank has developed a series of instruments and approaches, spanning financial, knowledge, and convening services to support disaster risk management in countries. A new operational policy on rapid response to crisis and emergencies was adopted in 2007, and new instruments were introduced to accelerate resource mobilization in case of disaster, including the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT DDO), the IDA Crisis Response Window (CRW), and the IDA Immediate Response Mechanism (IRM).

Between 2006 and 2011 the World Bank financed 113 disaster prevention and preparedness operations ($7.9 billion) and 68 disaster reconstruction operations ($3.8 billion).

In all support for disaster risk reduction, the World Bank promotes a comprehensive, multi-sector approach to managing disaster risk in countries.
Strengthening its support to vulnerable countries, GFDRR approved 31 projects worth over $22 million in fiscal year 2012. The highest share of funding – over 60% – was allocated for risk reduction activities. This was followed by 13% each for risk identification and financial protection, 9% for resilient reconstruction and 4% for preparedness.

Membership in Key Networks

• Inter-Agency Group (IAG)
• Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC)
• International Recovery Platform (IRP)
• OECD Experts Group on Risk and Resilience
• Political Champions Group for Disaster Resilience

National Counterpart


Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)

Mr. Francis Ghesquiere, Manager, World Bank Disaster Risk, Management Practice Group and Head, GFDRR Secretariat, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) (gfdrr@worldbank.org)



General contact information

  • URL: http://www.worldbank.org
  • Address: 1818 H Street, NW
  • Postal Code: 20433
  • City: Washington DC
  • Country: United States of America
  • Telephone: +1 2024738460
  • Fax: +1 2025223227
  • Email: feedback@worldbank.org
  • Head of the organization: Jim Yong Kim

Update this organization's DRR information

Update your organization's activities in disaster risk reduction if you work at this organization.

Update organization info

Last updated on 3 Sep 2014

Email this page


Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Documents, tools and processes
Working Areas
  • Hazards
  • Cold Wave
  • Cyclone
  • Drought
  • Earthquake
  • Epidemic & Pandemic
  • Flood
  • Heat Wave
  • Insect Infestation
  • Land Slide
  • NBC - Nuclear, Biological, Chemical
  • Storm Surge
  • Technical Disaster
  • Tornado
  • Tsunami
  • Volcano
  • Wild Fire
  • Themes
  • Capacity Development
  • Civil Society/NGOs
  • Climate Change
  • Community-based DRR
  • Complex Emergency
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Disaster Risk Management
  • Early Warning
  • Economics of DRR
  • Education & School Safety
  • Environment
  • Food Security & Agriculture
  • Gender
  • GIS & Mapping
  • Governance
  • Health & Health Facilities
  • Indigenous Knowledge
  • Information Management
  • Insurance & Risk Transfer
  • Media
  • Public-private Partnerships
  • Recovery
  • Risk Identification & Assessment
  • Social Impacts & Resilience
  • Space Technology
  • Structural Safety
  • Urban Risk & Planning
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Water
Working areas are based on content submissions. Update your organization profile by sharing your work in disaster risk reduction.

View all themes
View all hazards