Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

background image
challenged by factors such as the availability of appropriate risk information and weak capacities at the local level, they certainly represent an innovative initiative to address risk systematically in public infrastructure and facilities.
In certain sectors, there seems to be evidence of progress. For example, 77 countries reported on
the implementation of activities to make hospitals safer and better prepared for emergencies and disasters. More than 50 of the 195 WHO Member States in the Americas, South-East Asia, Central Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean Region and Europe have implemented actions under the Safer Hospitals initiative, and a large proportion of them have adopted safer hospitals policies and programmes.6 Twenty countries have formally adopted a national policy on safe hospitals and 17 have formally established national programs to this end. By the end of 2012, 32 countries in the Americas region had already adopted the Safe Hospitals initiative and started assessing their hospitals using the Hospital Safety Index (HSI). As of April 2013, the WHO reported that more than 1,800 hospitals had been assessed using this tool.
In many countries, there is also evidence of investments to strengthen or retrofit critical infrastructure to reduce disaster risk as well as to increase budget allocations for this purpose (Box 10.3). Different examples have demonstrated that investments in disaster risk reduction can reduce losses after major disasters, particularly in countries that have the financial capacity to make those investments.
(Source: UNISDR with data from the HFA Monitor.)
Figure 10.5 Progress in assessing disaster risk impacts of major development projects
Box 10.3 Risk reduction investments in Germany and Mexico
In hydrological terms, the 2013 floods in Germany were even more severe than those observed in 2002 (Merz et al., 2014

Merz, Bruno, Florian Elmer, Michael Kunz, Bern-hard Mühr, Kai Schröter and Steffi Uhlemann-Elmer. 2014,The extreme flood in June 2013 in Germany, La Houille Blanche, No. 1 (2014): 5-10.. .
). However, in some cities the construction of flood protections played a key role in reducing losses. In 2002, Dresden and the surrounding areas along the Elbe River experienced losses of nearly US$300 million in residential buildings alone (Thieken, 2009

Thieken, Annegret H. 2009,Floods, flood losses and flood risk management in Germany, Habilitationsschrift zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades doctor rerum naturalium habilitatus (Dr. rer. nat. habil.) venia legendi: Geoökologie vorgelegt der Mathematisch - Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Potsdam.. .
Following the disaster, the Dresden authorities developed hazard maps for 20 and 100-year floods, implemented flood protection measures against 500-year floods and extended floodplains. As a result, the city managed to avoid severe losses in the 2013 spring floods. “Water volumes were managed thanks to a combination of various installations that protected the historic city centre” (Zurich Insurance, 2014

Zurich Insurance. 2014,Risk Nexus: Central European floods 2013: a retrospective, Flood resilience review 05.14.. .
), making the city a good example of disaster risk management.

Major investments in flood risk reduction were made in the State of Tabasco, Mexico, after devastating floods in 2007. As a result, a flood of the same magnitude in 2010 damaged and destroyed only a quarter of the number of houses affected in 2007. The overall estimated cost of damage and losses was reduced from more than US$2.8 billion in 2007 to only US$569 million in 2010. The reduction in loss and damage was equivalent to 7.8 per cent of this Mexican state’s GDP.
Previous page Previous Section  
Contact us  |  Disclaimer  |  Our Partners  |  References  |  Acknowledgements  |  PreventionWeb |  WCDRR  |  © United Nations 2015.