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Sustainable Communities

Sur la voie de la résilience : la réduction des risques climatiques et de catastrophes naturelles en Afrique

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture
Also available in: English
Alors que 60 millions de personnes en Afrique sont dans l’attente d’une aide humanitaire en raison du phénomène climatique El Niño, dont l’incidence cette année atteint un niveau sans précédent depuis plusieurs décennies, la Banque mondiale s’emploie activement à aider 14 pays à mettre en place des programmes de redressement, avec des engagements qui se chiffrent à plus de 500 millions de dollars. (Photo : Flore de Preneuf / Banque mondiale

Sécheresses, inondations, glissements de terrain, tempêtes : ces catastrophes naturelles liées aux conditions météorologiques se produisent régulièrement, mais leur fréquence et leur intensité sont vouées à augmenter sous l’effet du changement climatique. Depuis 1970, l’Afrique a connu plus de 2 000 catastrophes naturelles, dont près de la moitié au cours des dix dernières années seulement. Ces événements ont touché plus de 460 millions de personnes et causé le décès de 880 000 d’entre elles. Les estimations indiquent que 118 millions d’Africains vivant dans l’extrême pauvreté (avec moins de 1,25 dollar par jour) seront exposés d’ici 2030 à des sécheresses, des inondations et des vagues de chaleur extrême. Ces catastrophes à répétition entravent la croissance économique et privent encore davantage les populations démunies de la possibilité d’échapper à la pauvreté.

On the road to resilience: Reducing disaster and climate risk in Africa

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture
Also available in: Français
As 60 million people in Africa await humanitarian assistance due to the worst El Nino in decades, the World Bank is actively engaged in 14 countries to plan recovery programs worth more than $500 million. (Photo: Flore de Preneuf / World Bank)


Natural disasters—such as droughts, floods, landslides, and storms—are a regular occurrence, but climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of such weather-related hazards. Since 1970, Africa has experienced more than 2,000 natural disasters, with just under half taking place in the last decade. During this time, natural disasters have affected over 460 million people and resulted in more than 880,000 casualties. In addition, it is estimated that by 2030, up to 118 million extremely poor people (living below $1.25/day) will be exposed to drought, floods, and extreme heat in Africa. In areas of recurrent disasters, this hampers growth and makes it harder for the poor to escape poverty.

Urbanization in Nigeria: Planning for the Unplanned

Salim Rouhana's picture
Since 2011, when floods destroyed the bridge that once stood here, the only way members of this Ibadan community can cross the river is by walking across it when the water is low. As the river grows during the rainy season, the community remains separated from the city. © Ivan Bruce, World Bank



“City plans must fit the people, not the other way round.” Jane Jacobs, journalist and urban studies author

Ibadan,  the third largest metropolitan area in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano,  has organically grown from around 60,000 inhabitants in the early 1800’s to more than three million today, and is projected to reach 5.6 million by 2033. The city’s urban footprint continues to sprawl due to weak land use planning that leads to the proliferation of informal settlements in flood prone areas. 

Rising from the Ashes: How fires in Addis Ababa are shedding light on the need for resilience

Maria Angelica Sotomayor's picture



On January 22, 2012 at 6:00 am in the morning, Ethiopians living in the Efoyta Market neighborhood in Addis Ababa woke up to a burning five-story building. More than 13 hours later, the fire had killed two people, destroyed 65,000 square miles including several homes and businesses, and produced damages amounting to ETB 20 million ($1 million), a huge amount in a country where nearly 30% of the population live on less than  $1.90 a day.   

How can Malawi emerge stronger and more resilient after two years of drought?

Richard Record's picture
Almost two years ago I was given the opportunity to move to Malawi as the World Bank’s senior country economist. It was a chance that I jumped at, having previously worked in Lilongwe for three years in the Malawi Government before joining the Bank.

Cities for an emerging Senegal

Salim Rouhana's picture
Also available in: Français



With almost half of its population living in urban areas, Senegal is ahead of Sub-Saharan Africa’s average urbanization rate of 40%. Senegal’s urban population has almost doubled in the last few decades, rising from 23% in 1960 to 43% in 2013, and is projected to reach 60% by 2030. This growth comes with immense challenges, but also constitutes an opportunity for Senegalese policymakers to structurally transform the Senegalese economy.

Is living in African cities expensive?

Shohei Nakamura's picture

A comparison of costs of living across major cities in the world regularly intrigues people. The latest annual report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), for example, points to Singapore as the most expensive city to live in. The cheapest city in the ranking of 133 cities is Lusaka in Zambia, followed by two Indian cities Bangalore and Mumbai.

Violences domestiques et pauvreté en Afrique : quand les coups du mari ont la douceur du miel

Luc Christiaensen's picture
Also available in: English

Selon les dernières statistiques, 51 % des Africaines considèrent que leurs maris ont raison de les battre quand elles sortent sans leur autorisation, ne s’occupent pas bien des enfants, argumentent, refusent d’avoir un rapport sexuel ou laissent brûler le repas. Voilà qui donne à réfléchir.

Certes, ce chiffre rend compte des mentalités, pas de l’incidence des violences : un tiers des Africaines environ disent avoir été victimes de violences domestiques (physiques ou sexuelles). Mais les mentalités sont probablement encore plus pernicieuses, car elles façonnent les comportements, traduisent des normes sociales vis-à-vis de la résolution des conflits, au sein mais aussi en dehors du cercle familial, et pourraient avoir des conséquences sur le développement et la réduction de la pauvreté. Les mentalités sont par ailleurs corrélées à l’incidence des violences. Si l’on veut apprécier le niveau de pauvreté et de bien-être des populations, il faut donc aborder de façon beaucoup plus systématique ce problème de l’acceptation et de l’incidence des violences conjugales.

Domestic Violence and Poverty in Africa: When the Husband’s Beating Stick is Like Butter

Luc Christiaensen's picture
Also available in: Français

According to the latest statistics, 51%  of African women report that being beaten by their husbands is justified if they either go out without permission, neglect the children, argue back, refuse to have sex, or burn the food. This is startling.

To be sure, the numbers reflect attitudes, not incidence. About one third of African women report to have experienced domestic violence (physical or sexual). But the attitudes are arguably even more pernicious. They shape behavior, reflect social norms toward conflict resolution, also outside the home, and could bear importantly on development and poverty reduction. They are also correlated with the incidence of violence. In assessing people’s poverty status and well-being, a much more systematic discussion of the acceptance and incidence of domestic violence is called for.

So, what has been happening to women’s attitudes and incidence towards domestic violence following Africa’s hopeful economic turn-around? Two decades of systematic data collection through the Demographic and Health Surveys make it possible to examine this. The latest Poverty in a Rising Africa report summarizes the findings.

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