GAR 2015 – Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (Part 1)

The Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) is a biennial global assessment of disaster risk reduction and comprehensive review and analysis of the natural hazards that are affecting humanity. The Report is produced in collaboration and consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including various UN agencies, governments, academic and research institutions, donors and technical organizations and specialists.

According to GAR 2015, the cost of disasters worldwide has reached an average of $250 billion to
$300 billion every year. It stresses that the economic losses caused by disasters are also hindering countries’ paths to achieve sustainable development, making risk reduction central to social, economic and environmental progress.

“If we do not address risk reduction, future losses from disaster will increase and this will impact
countries’ capacity to invest money in other areas such as health and education. If we do not take
the necessary measures now, it will be difficult to achieve development, let alone sustainable
development,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Disaster Risk Reduction,
Margareta Wahlström.


Climate change increasing risks in many regions around the world

In many countries, climate change is magnifying risks and increasing the cost of disasters. In the
Caribbean, for example, the average annual losses associated with tropical cyclone winds alone are
projected to increase by as much as US$1.4 billion by 2050.

For small island developing states, expected future disaster losses are not just disproportionately
high; they represent an existential threat. These countries are expected to lose 20 times more of
their capital stock each year compared to Europe and Central Asia.

Meanwhile, droughts caused by climate change are affecting maize production in countries such as
Kenya, Malawi and Niger, whose gross domestic product largely depends on agriculture.

Reducing those risks is therefore essential to protect those countries from the impact of climate
change, the report says.
Investing in disaster risk reduction makes financial sense

According to the report, an annual global investment of $6 billion in disaster risk management
strategies would generate total benefits in terms of risk reduction of $360 billion. This is equivalent
to a 20 per cent reduction of new and additional annual economic losses.

This investment represents only 0.1 per cent of the $6 trillion per year that will have to be invested
in infrastructure over the next 15 years.

“For many countries, that small additional investment could make a crucial difference in achieving
the national and international goals of ending poverty, improving health and education, and
ensuring sustainable and equitable growth,” the report says.

While countries are devoting resources to disaster management, the report stresses that more
needs to be done to foster a culture of prevention, and incorporate disaster risk reduction into the
post-2015 development agenda.

GAR 2015 at a Glance

GAR15 at a glance