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

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economic loss since 1990 as well as an overlooked poverty factor.
In 2012, EM-DAT reported economic losses of US$157 billion, an estimate that is lower than those published by Swiss Re (US$186 billion), Munich Re (US$160 billion) and Aon (US$200 billion). If the economic cost of assets lost in extensive disasters in 82 countries (Figure 4.9) is extrapolated globally, direct economic losses would be around 60 per cent higher than those internationally reported by EM DAT, implying a total of around US$250 billion for 2012.
This total loss represents 0.33 per cent of global GDP, 1.4 per cent of global capital investment and an annual loss of more than US$35 per capita.7 For those 1.4 billion people living below the poverty line with an income under US$1.25 per day,8 the loss is equivalent to almost 8 per cent of their annual income.
(Source: EM-DAT and national loss databases.)
Figure 4.9 Economic losses reported internationally and additional losses reported nationally in 82 countries, 1990-2013
In particular, such losses represent a serious erosion of public investment in some of those countries with the least capacity to invest. For example, the average historical annual losses from disasters in Madagascar since 2001 are equivalent to around 75 per cent of annual average public investment in the same period;9 in El Salvador, they amount to almost 60 per cent, and in Vanuatu they exceed 40 per cent.
Chapter 2 showed how countries have partially succeeded in reducing mortality in intensive disasters through improvements in disaster management. In contrast, the increasing level of extensive risk shows how countries have not been able to address the underlying risk drivers. Increasing risk at the local level is the necessary counterfactual to the success in reducing disaster mortality in some countries. It is in reducing losses in the social and economic assets of communities where countries have gained the least traction in the HFA.
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