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2019 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

UN General Assembly Observes International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

Los Angeles, CA – October 13, 2019 – In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly decided to maintain the observance of the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction on Sunday the 13th day of October (Resolution 64/200, 21 December 2009) to raise the profile of disaster risk reduction as a vehicle to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation, and preparedness. On the annual observance of the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, the Global Bank Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Fund – An Umbrella Trust Fund (GB-DRRRF) works to encourage people and governments to participate in building more resilient communities and nations.

This year’s theme is based on Target (d) of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: ‘Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption services, among them health and education facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030’.

The celebration of the annual observance of the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction on the 13th day of October, is a vehicle to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including prevention, mitigation and preparedness and stressing the need for the international community to demonstrate the firm political determination required to utilize scientific and technical knowledge to reduce vulnerability to natural disasters and environmental hazards, taking into account the particular needs of developing countries.

Natural hazards are severe, and extreme weather and climate events. Although they occur in all parts of the world, some regions are more vulnerable to certain hazards than others. Natural hazards become disasters when people’s lives and livelihoods are destroyed. Every year, major earthquakes, floods, fires, and hurricanes occur. These natural disasters disrupt daily life and, in the worst cases, cause devastation. Events such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the 2012 Hurricanes Sandy killed thousands of people and generated billions of dollars in losses.

Millions of lives have been shattered every year by disasters such as drought, storms, earthquakes, landslides, and heatwaves that unleash dramatic levels of devastation. Although disasters are quick to strike, their consequences can linger for months and years.

According to one of the world’s leading reinsurers Munich Re natural disaster figures for the first half of 2019:

  • A total of 370 loss events produced overall losses of US$ 42bn, which, after adjustment for inflation, is lower than the 30-year average of US$ 69bn. However, the losses from the severe floods in southeast China, which began in June and reportedly caused billions of dollars in damage, are not included in this figure.
  • Insured losses came to US$ 15bn, which is below the long-term average of US$ 18bn. For many events, the insured portion of the overall economic loss was extremely small due to low insurance penetration in many of the affected countries.
  • Around 4,200 people lost their lives in natural disasters. This figure is similar to that of the previous year (approximately 4,300). But at least the trend towards fewer casualties has continued, thanks to more effective protection measures: the 30-year average for the same half-year period is more than 27,000 fatalities.
  • The deadliest disaster worldwide up to the end of June was Cyclone Idai, which swept across Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa from 9 to 14 March. More than 1,000 people were killed.
  • In May, thunderstorms with tornadoes in the Midwestern US produced the heaviest losses at US$ 3.3bn. The insured portion came to around US$ 2.5bn.

Investing in resilient infrastructure
Public and private investment in disaster risk prevention and reduction through structural and non-structural measures are essential to enhance the economic, social, health, and cultural resilience of persons, communities, countries, and their assets, as well as the environment. These can be drivers of innovation, growth and job creation. Such measures are cost-effective and instrumental for saving lives, preventing and reducing losses, and ensuring effective recovery and rehabilitation. The objective of the Global Bank Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Fund – An Umbrella Trust Fund in infrastructure is to improve alignment and coordination between established and new infrastructure initiatives. As well as among multilateral and national development banks, national institutions, and the private sector, to bridge the ‘infrastructure investment gap’ and to facilitate the implementation of sustainable, accessible and resilient infrastructure, particularly for developing countries.


  1. United Nations General Assembly Session 44, Resolution 236. International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction A/RES/44/236 22 December 1989. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
  2. United Nations General Assembly Session 56, Resolution 195. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction A/RES/56/195 21 January 2002. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
  3. United Nations General Assembly Session 64, Resolution 200. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction A/64/200 21 December 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-14.

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Release Date: 
Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Global Bank Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Fund – An Umbrella Trust Fund (GB-DRRRF) (), established in 2017, is a multi-donor partnership and grant-making financing mechanism. Its purpose is mainstreaming climate change into development to help achieve the Sendai Framework targets by 2030 - a decade-long plan to help make the world safer from disasters caused by natural hazards — and to support the implementation of the Global Climate Agreement in Paris, and prevent disasters undermining progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. The rapid and flexible support offered by the Global Bank Disaster Risk Reduction and Reconstruction Fund makes it a central pillar of the Global Bank Group agencies’ humanitarian response architecture.

More detailed information can be found on the GB-DRRRF’s website http://www.gbdrrrf.org/

About Global Bank
Owned by the Global Bank Group, The Bank for International Development and Reconstruction, known as the Global Bank borrows in the international capital markets (the “BIDR,” or the “Global Bank”) and is the Global Bank Group’s long-term sovereign lending institution. As a development bank with an agenda driven by G-7/G-8 and G-20-priorities, its leading priority is to promote global economic and social development. Unlike the multilateral development banks (MDBs), Global Bank is not restricted to operating only in developing countries.

Global Bank GroupThe Global Bank Group () represents, develops and supports the collective interests of the Global Bank and any of its business interests globally. Global Bank is a full-fledged private sector global development bank, in formation, – the world’s second global development bank – positioned next to the World Bank Group and next to the preeminent regional development banks. It combines the characteristics of a multilateral development bank with those of a private financial institution. The primary objective of the Global Bank is to reduce poverty in middle-income countries and creditworthy poorer countries by promoting sustainable development. To this end, Global Bank finances primarily public sector infrastructure projects and sustainable development through the provision of sovereign loans to developing countries. Global Bank’s financial objective is not to maximize profit, but to earn an adequate income to ensure its financial strength and to sustain its development activities.

For information about the Global Bank, please visit http://www.global-bank.org


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