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resilience

How can Sri Lanka better protect its people against disasters?

Thomas Walker's picture
A recent World Bank report indicates that nine out of 10 of Sri Lankans may live in climate hotspots—or areas highly prone to floods or droughts—by 2050
A recent World Bank report indicates that nine out of 10 of Sri Lankans may live in climate hotspots—or areas highly prone to floods or droughts—by 2050

Sri Lanka has a long history of coping with weather impacts.  

About two thousand years ago, the country built one of the world’s first irrigation system to control its water supply.

This feat of engineering, which boasted hundreds of kilometers of channels, tanks, and innovative valve pits, helped the great kingdoms of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa flourish into sophisticated societies and protect their people against hunger.

Not unlike these early civilizations, modern social protection programs have sheltered those affected by disaster through financial assistance and other forms of support.

Today, building resilience to natural disasters and other shocks is more critical than ever.

Since 1980, the frequency of natural disasters worldwide has increased by 250 percent, and the number of affected people has more than doubled.

Sri Lanka is no exception. The country ranked fourth most vulnerable to climate change in 2016.

Further to that, a recent World Bank report indicates that nine out of 10 of Sri Lankans may live in climate hotspots—or areas highly prone to floods or droughts—by 2050.

The losses caused by significant shocks like natural disasters have long-lasting consequences.

Children, especially, can suffer permanent damages if they are not educated or fed correctly in their critical early years.  

And the loss of assets, livestock, and crops can severely hurt small business owners and farmers and further discourage them from investing.

Sadly, natural disasters hit the poor the hardest as they tend to live in disaster-prone areas, work in agriculture, and usually don’t have savings or access to credit.

When a shock hits, wellbeing declines as people cut back on food and other essentials due to their loss of income or the high cost of rebuilding their homes.

And while some people gradually restore their standards of living, some never fully recover and get stuck in poverty.

But the poor aren’t the only ones who need to worry about shocks.

Today, a third of Sri Lankans are just a shock away from falling into poverty.

Our analysis of the 2016 Household Income and Expenditure Survey reveals that a 20 percent sudden decrease in household welfare—or consumption shock—would more than double the poverty rate: almost 1 in 10 Sri Lankans would be poor.

If the shock triggered a 50 percent decrease in consumption, one in three Sri Lankan families would fall into poverty.

How can Bangladesh increase its resilience to disasters through data sharing?

Debashish Paul Shuvra's picture
 
How can Bangladesh increase its resilience to disasters?

Schools across Bangladesh are highly vulnerable to floods, cyclones, and earthquakes. How can the country mitigate and respond to the risks of these natural hazards?

By using the GeoDASH platform - a geospatial data sharing platform - the Directorate of Primary Education of Bangladesh has assessed 35,000 schools with respect to the type of infrastructure, water and sanitation facilities, access to roads, and overall capacity during natural disasters.

The GeoDASH platform is a reliable and extensive geographic and information (geospatial) data network.

These data are Geographic Information System (GIS) and other geolocation services-based information to represent objects or locations on a globally referenceable platform to enable mapping.

For example, locations of road network data can be merged with the flood risk map to get a single map for identifying vulnerable road communication in flood-prone areas.

This type of data will allow the Government of Bangladesh, communities, and the private sector to create, share and use disaster risk and climate change information to inform risk-sensitive decision making.

When Afghan refugees come home

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture
Also available in: دری | پښتو
When it comes to conflict and displacement, we often think about the refugees forced to flee their homes. Equally affected, however, are the ones making their way home after a trying time in exile—the returnees.

In South Asia, Afghanistan is a country experiencing a huge influx of returnees, many from Pakistan and Iran. In 2016 alone, the country welcomed 600,000 returnees. UNHCR predicts another 500,000 to 700,000 returnees by the end of 2017.

On top of that, conflict-driven displacement continues in Afghanistan. In a country of over 30 million people, there is an estimated 1-2 million of displaced population (UN-OCHA, UNHCR, IOM).

One can only imagine how much pressure the displacement crisis is putting on the cities and communities hosting refugees and returnees—starting with the challenge of providing basic services such as water and housing, let alone jobs and security.


In this video, World Bank Senior Director Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez (@Ede_WBG) and Lead Social Development Specialist Janmejay Singh will unpack the challenge and share how innovative community-driven approaches are helping to support returnees in conflict-affected Afghanistan—through Citizens’ Charter Afghanistan Project and other World Bank-supported activities.

کله چې افغان کډوال خپل هېواد ته راستنیږي

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture
Also available in: English | دری
کله چې د جګړو او د هغو له کبله د خلکو د بېځایه کېدو په اړه خبرې کوو، نو زیاتره وختونه د هغو کډوالو په اړه فکر کوو، چې له خپل هېواد څخه وتلو ته اړ شوي دي. دا په داسې حال کې ده، چې هېواد ته د کډوالو د بیرته راستنیدو ستونزه هم په مساویانه او په همغه اندازه د اهمیت وړ ده.

افغانستان په سویلي اسیا کې یوازینی هېواد دی، چې له پاکستان او ایران څخه د زیات شمېر کډوالو د بیرته راستنیدو شاهد دی. د شته معلوماتو له مخې یوازې په ۲۰۱۶ ز کال کې، ۶۰۰۰۰۰ کډوال بیرته افغانستان ته راستانه شوي دي. د کډوالو په چارو کې د ملګرو ملتونو د عالي کمېشنرۍ د دفتر د معلوماتو له مخې، د ۲۰۱۷ کال تر پایه پورې به ښايې له ۵۰۰۰۰۰ څخه تر ۷۰۰۰۰۰ پورې نور کډوال هم افغانستان ته راستانه شي. سربیره پر دې، لا هم د جګړو او ناکراریو له لاسه خلک د خپلو سیمو پریښودلو ته مجبوريږي. د ملګرو ملتونو د بشر پاله مرستو د همغږۍ د ادارې، د کډوالو په چارو کې د ملګرو ملتونو د عالي کمېشنرۍ د دفتر او د کډوالو د نړیوالې ادارې د معلوماتو له مخې، د افغانستان له ۳۰ میلیون وګړو څخه له یوه نه تر دوو میلیونو پورې یې کورني بېځایه شوي وګړي دي.

اوس فکر وکړئ، چې د جګړو او ناکراریو له لاسه د بېځایه کېدو ستونزو به د بېځایه شویو پر کوربه سیمو او ښارونو باندې څومره فشار راوستی وي - په تیره بیا د لومړنیو خدماتو پر وړاندې کولو باندې لکه اوبه او سرپناه او د اشتغال او ټولنیز خوندیتوب په برخو کې.

 


په دغه ویډیو کې، د ټولنیزې پراختیا لوړپوړي کارپوه، جان میجي سنګ د افغانستان د ولسي تړون د برنامې او هغو نورو فعالیتونو له لارې، چې د نړیوال بانک له خوا تمویلیږي د سیمو پر کچه د راستنیدونکو پر وړاندې د پرتو ننګوونو او ستونزو  د نوښتګرانه حل او مرستې په اړه خبرې کړي دي.


زمانیکه مهاجرین افغان به خانه بر می گردند

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture
Also available in: English | پښتو
زمانیکه در باره موضوعات جنگ و بیجا شدن مردم ناشی از آن صحبت میکنیم، اغلباً در بارۀ انعده مهاجرین که مجبور به فرار از وطن شده اند، فکر می کنیم. این در حالیست که معضله برگشت دوباره مهاجرین به وطن  نیز بطور مساویانه و به همان پیمانه قابل اهمیت است.

 افغانستان یگانه کشوری در حوزه جنوب اسیا است که شاهد بیشترین موج عودت کننده گان از کشورهای پاکستان و یا ایران میباشد. براساس ارقام موجود تنها در سال ۲۰۱۶ میلادی، ۶۰۰۰۰ عودت کننده به افغانستان برگشته اند. طبق پیش بینی های دفتر کمیشنری عالی سازمان ملل متحد برای مهاجرین، الی ختم سال ۲۰۱۷؛ ممکن ۵۰۰۰۰۰ الی ۷۰۰۰۰۰ عودت کننده دیگر نیز به این کشور برخواهند گشت. علاوه بر آن، هنوز هم، مردم مجبور به ترک مناطق مسکونی شان در اثر جنگ و نا امنی ها میشوند. قرارمعلومات دفاتر هماهنگی کمک های بشردوستانه ملل متحد، کمیشنری عالی سازمان ملل متحد برای مهاجرین و سازمان بین المللی مهاجرت از جمله ۳۰ میلیون نفوس افغانستان، یک الی دو میلیون آنان بیجاشده گان داخلی می باشند. 

 حالا تصور کنید که معضل بیجا شدن ناشی از جنگ و ناامنی؛ تا چه اندازه فشار را بالای شهرها و محلاتیکه میزبان عودت کننده گان اند، وارد نموده است - به خصوص از چگونگی فراهم سازی خدمات اولیه همانند آب و مسکن، تا تامین زمینه های اشتغال و مصؤنیت اجتماعی.


در این ویدیو، جان میجی سنگ، متخصص ارشد توسعۀ اجتماعی در مورد چالش ها و اینکه چگونه رویکردهای خلاقانه در سطح محلات از طریق برنامه میثاق شهروندی افغانستان و دیگر فعالیت های که از طریق بانک جهانی غرض رسیده گی به چالشها و فراهم اوری تسهیلات برای عودت کننده گان، فراهم میگردد، بحث و گفتگو نموده است.

Pakistan, A Bittersweet Homecoming

Zeeshan Suhail's picture
Speaking with colleague Ahsan Tehsin, who worked on the Bank's damage and needs assessment for Pakistan.

I have always had a desire to work in a developing country and have felt a pull towards Pakistan due to my heritage. So after two exciting years in Washington DC, I came across an opportunity to work in the Islamabad office; I went for it.

Within days of accepting the position -to work for the Multi-Donor Trust Fund supporting the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally-Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan regions- I was in Islamabad. I had lived in the country for years when I was younger. With family and my fluency in Urdu, this was a homecoming of sorts, but a bittersweet one.

Each day on my way to work I am welcomed by the many checkpoints placed every few kilometers with law enforcement inspecting every vehicle with caution and professionalism (two qualities I once thought they were incapable of possessing!). I encounter at least seven checkpoints. The security situation has deteriorated to such an extent that these barriers to the flow of traffic - and in the mornings, to the flow of thought – bring calm to an otherwise chaotic world.