Bianca Adam is a Disaster Risk Financing & Insurance Specialist at the World Bank Group. The Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program supports countries to develop and implement tailored financial protection strategies that increase the ability of national and local governments, homeowners, businesses, agricultural producers, and low income populations to respond more quickly and resiliently to disasters.
More than one billion people have lifted themselves out of poverty in the past 15 years, but climate and disaster risks threaten these achievements. Global economic losses from disasters are now reaching an average of more than US$ 300 billion a year. According to a recent World Bank report, when accounting for impacts on well-being, disasters actually cost the global economy 60% more than the economic losses usually reported (US$ 520 billion) and force some 26 million people into poverty every year. Furthermore countries face increasingly complex threats that often compound the negative impacts of disaster and climate shocks – from migration caused by fragility and conflict situations, to the risk of pandemics. For instance, it is estimated that 93% of people facing extreme poverty today are living in countries that are politically fragile or environmentally vulnerable and, in many cases, both. The United Nation’s (UN) humanitarian appeal for 2017 stands at a record US$ 22.2 billion to help almost 93 million people affected by conflicts and natural disasters.