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Disaster risk management in post-2015 policy frameworks: forging a more resilient future

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Emily Wilkinson

Briefing/policy papers

Economic losses from disasters are increasing. Despite these escalating losses, more than 95% of humanitarian finance is still spent on responding to disasters and their aftermath, with less than 5% spent on reducing the risk of disasters. Without a major increase in investment to reduce current and future risks, spending on relief and reconstruction is likely to become unsustainable.

Fortunately, disaster risk management (DRM) is firmly on the international policy agenda in 2012 – at the G20, Rio+20, Summit of the Americas and at the climate change negotiations – and is being voiced as a genuine concern for many governments.

The challenge for the DRM community is to ensure that risk management is prioritised in these policy frameworks and fully integrated in institutional and sector practices, to help save lives, protect livelihoods and reduce economic losses.

This Briefing Paper considers what is needed to strengthen the management of disaster risk over the next two decades and strategies to embed DRM in the international policy frameworks to achieve this.

Key points:

  • A failure to include disaster risk management (DRM) in the international policy frameworks to be agreed in 2015 could undermine progress and squander investments.
  • Given the predicted wide-ranging impact of disasters by 2030, action is required to ensure that DRM is mainstreamed in these policy agreements and is supported by an international DRM mechanism.
  • This will require a stronger evidence base, greater political commitment and efforts across policy areas, from health and education to economic and fiscal planning.


Tom Mitchell and Emily Wilkinson