World Bank, the (WB)
By Keiko Sakoda, Bandita Sijapati, and Melody Benavidez
On April 25, 2015, when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal, Bandita recalls the urgency with which she moved her young children and elderly mother-in-law out of the house.
Once at a ‘safe’ location, her other major concern was her nonagenarian grandmother, infirmed and with limited mobility. Would there be evacuation support for her, and people in vulnerable situations like hers? Would her grandmother be able to find shelter? Would she have access to food, water, medicine?
In the aftermath of the earthquake, the poor and the marginalized sections of Nepal suffered immense losses due in large part to an absence of adequate knowledge on safety protocols, including how to access evacuation sites, emergency relief and rescue services, and post-disaster assistance packages. These anecdotes bring to the fore questions about who disproportionately suffers due to climate change or disaster events.
Social exclusion remains pervasive in South Asia and has a significant impact on both development and resilience outcomes . But, how exactly does exclusion undermine disaster preparedness, risk management and response efforts? What types of policies, programs and frameworks are necessary to make disaster risk management inclusive for all? These are not concerns limited to developing countries.
Growing up at the foot of the most active volcano in Japan, with a sister who was born with heart disease, and old grandparents, Keiko’s concerns about what preventive actions her family could take when a disaster hit were not very different from Bandita’s.
Similarly, Melody, growing up in earthquake and fire-prone California, felt vulnerable as a child dependent on family, and the Government, to adequately consider children's needs in a disaster-context.
In disaster risk management (DRM) systems, opportunities to advance social inclusion are considered regardless of the individual country's economic level.
South Asia is one of the regions’ most vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards, particularly climate-induced extremes . As the South Asia’s Hotspots (World Bank, 2018) indicates, the anticipated increase of temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns will reduce living standards in communities across South Asia.
Shock Waves : Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty (World Bank, 2016) established a strong link between poverty and climate vulnerability. It found that poor people are more likely to be exposed to hazards; lose more as a share of their limited wealth when hit; and receive less support after disasters.
Given these pressing challenges facing South Asia, the World Bank’s new publication Inclusive Resilience: Inclusion Matters for Resilience in South Asia (2021) offers a timely contribution to address social inclusion in climate and disaster resilience. The report builds on the World Bank’s flagship report on social inclusion, Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity (2013).
While many South Asian governments have made significant and important strides towards addressing social inclusion issues in DRM policies and frameworks, there often remains a gap in translating these commitments into de facto actions on the ground.
Major social exclusion factors observed in South Asia and their intersectionality
Examples of Inclusive Resilience actions from the report:
Illustrated Inclusive Resilience Actions
Inclusive resilience is about recognizing different forms of social exclusion in our communities and thoroughly considering the ways to address them . The report goes a step further to identify the practical actions that governments, DRM and social development practitioners can take to advance inclusive resilience through resilience investments.
In the case of Bandita’s grandmother, a benevolent neighbor brought her to safety. However, we cannot always count on someone’s good will, we must ensure that effective mechanisms are in place to build resilience that is truly for “ALL”.
This video highlights some of the inclusive resilience actions that DRM interventions can adopt to move in that direction. These actions are practical and do not require significant financial implications either.
We have no reason not to act now.
DOCUMENTS / PUBLICATIONS
DOCUMENTS / PUBLICATIONS