Japan, World Bank Partner to Strengthen Disaster Resilience

gfdrr-japan3 February 2014: Japan and the World Bank jointly launched a programme to help improve disaster risk management (DRM) in developing countries. Activities will: focus on strengthening resilience, including risk identification and reduction, preparedness, financial protection, and knowledge mobilization and exchange; and take advantage of Japan's expertise in mainstreaming DRM into development planning and investment programmes.

The US$100 million ‘Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries,' to be implemented over five years, will support technical assistance, pilot DRM projects, and knowledge and capacity building activities, all aimed at reducing vulnerability to natural hazards. A Hub in Tokyo, to be managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), which is housed at the World Bank, will: maintain a network of Japanese and regional DRM centers of excellence; work with the public and private sectors in Japan to help design and implement DRM projects; and undertake knowledge exchange, outreach and communication initiatives.

Japan and the World Bank have a history of DRM collaboration, which: was strengthened following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, when the jointly-produced Sendai Report outlined policy recommendations to improve resilience; and emphasizes the importance of increasing technical assistance and financial support to vulnerable countries.

The Program aims to show that: mainstreaming DRM policies, strategies, legislation and building codes can save lives and assets; not all natural hazards necessarily become disasters; prevention is often less costly than disaster relief and response; and strengthening resilience can reduce risk. A Steering Committee, consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the World Bank and the GFDRR Secretariat, will meet once a year to review the Program's progress and approve the allocation of resources for implementation. [GFDRR Program Website] [World Bank Press Release]