We are facing an unprecedented era of increasingly complex crises. A growing number of countries are affected by both recurring disasters caused by natural hazards and protracted crises associated with fragility, conflict and violence (FCV). Violent conflict has spiked dramatically since 2010 and the fragility landscape is becoming more complex. Two billion people now live in countries affected by FCV. By 2020, it is estimated that between 43% and 60% of the world’s extreme poor will live in FCV countries.
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Bamako, the capital of Mali, dominates the country’s urban and economic landscape – it is the nerve center of the national economy. Bamako has much to gain from becoming a productive and livable city. But currently it is far from that potential. The city is neither an engine of growth, nor of service delivery. Its urban development has been fragmented, fettering both - productivity, by preventing opportunities for matching people and jobs - and livability, by driving up the costs of urban infrastructure and service delivery. . Tackling urban development challenges in the capital will have knock-on effects on Mali’s economic development.
Disasters caused by natural hazards result in average annual welfare losses of over US$500 billion and push up to 26 million people into poverty each year. Some of these negative consequences are due to recovery that is not resilient, takes too long and is not equitable. According to the Building Back Better report, this can be mitigated by building back stronger, faster and more inclusively following a disaster.
As the World Bank expands its engagement in the housing sector with countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA), two major challenges have emerged. At one extreme of the housing spectrum is the potential seismic risk posed by certain multifamily buildings built before the 1990s. At the other end is the exposure of poor communities living in informal settlements to frequent natural hazards. In this video blog, Senior Director Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez and Senior Urban Development Specialist Ashna Mathema discuss how both issues need to be urgently addressed.
The World Bank Group has launched its Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience. As an institution that is committed to development, the World Bank has an enormous responsibility to help countries and communities act early, to build resilience to what we know they are going to be facing – more frequent and more dramatic climate disasters because of climate change.
In fact, over the past 30 years, more than 2.5 million people and almost $4 trillion have been lost to disasters caused by natural hazards, with global losses quadrupling from $50 billion a year in the 1980s to $200 billion in the last decade, reaching $330 billion in global losses in 2017.