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Disaster risk management in south Asia: a regional overview

The number of disasters per year has quadrupled over the past four decades in the South Asia Region (SAR), resulting in damages of over US$25 billion in the past five years alone. However, exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards and their consequential impacts are not yet at the forefront of development agendas. This report argues that the challenge lies in demonstrating results from investments that increase resilience to hazards. Only through a clear understanding of disaster risks can policymakers prioritise increasing their population’s resilience to these events. The report determines that disasters result from the combination of three key elements: i) natural hazards; ii) exposure (of people and property to these hazards); and iii) vulnerability (of the human and physical capital exposed) due to physical, social, economic, governance and environmental factors that increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of a natural hazard.