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The challenges of climate change and exposure growth for disaster risk management in developing countries

Over the past 30 years, total economic losses from natural hazards have more than tripled in real terms. The economic and social impacts have been particularly great in developing countries, where past development gains are at risk and human security is increasingly threatened. This report argues that at a global level, exposure growth could remain the main driver of risk in the short-term, but beyond about 2030, climate change could begin to play a more significant role. Climate change and the rapid accumulation of people and assets in hazard-prone areas increase the need for a more forward-looking approach to disaster risk management. The report concludes that investing in risk reduction now can bring effective, tangible and immediate benefits; reducing risks and building resilience to disasters before they occur is a more cost-effective solution. It also underlines that there is a need to take immediate action to reduce or better manage the underlying drivers of the trends in risk.