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Dare to prepare: taking risk seriously

Research reports

Written by Katie Peters, Steven A Zyck, Lilianne Fan, Alice Caravani, Helen Tilley

In moving towards the post-2015 Development Agenda, and with evidence pointing towards a world in which disasters are even more frequent than today, the centrality of ‘risk’ is becoming an essential component of all development and humanitarian work. Emergency preparedness has the potential to be truly transformative, a means to reshape the way the aid system approaches crisis. Investment in preparedness seeks to reduce the cost of response over the long term and the ever increasing burden on the humanitarian system – a burden that stretches it beyond its means and, in some cases, its mandate.

The report’s key messages are:

  • Financing for emergency preparedness is largely nonexistent. Where it does exist, it is complicated, fragmented and piecemeal, especially the international contribution, with an array of separate institutions, mechanisms and approaches determining which parts of the ‘emergency preparedness continuum’ are funded, and in what ways. Financing across the continuum needs to be coordinated.
  • Findings support further investment in emergency preparedness activities, as the benefits far outweigh the costs in terms of reduced caseloads, unit costs of response and disaster losses.
  • Incremental changes to current mechanisms will leave gaps. This report recommends that while there are advantages to enhancing existing financing mechanisms, simply bolstering the existing system is not sufficient, and at the very least a global solution must be considered.

Dare to prepare: taking risk seriously

Jan Kellett and Katie Peters