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REPORT: Dare to prepare – taking risk seriously

In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, Jan Kellett and Katie Peters of the Overseas Development Institute ask whether aid agencies are willing to take climate-related and other risks seriously enough and change their investment behaviour.

In moving towards the post-2015 Development Agenda, and with evidence pointing towards a future world in which disasters are even more frequent than they are today, the centrality of risk is becoming an essential component of all development and humanitarian work. Emergency preparedness has the potential to be truly transformative, a means to reshape the way the aid system approaches crisis. Investment in preparedness seeks to reduce the cost of response over the long term and the ever increasing burden on the humanitarian system – a burden that stretches it beyond its means and, in some cases, its mandate. The key messages of our new report, Dare to Prepare – Taking Risk Seriously are:

  • Financing for emergency preparedness is largely non-existent. Where it does exist, it is complicated, fragmented and piecemeal, especially the international contribution, with an array of separate institutions, mechanisms and approaches determining which parts of the ‘emergency preparedness continuum’ are funded, and in what ways. Financing across the continuum needs to be coordinated.
  • The findings support further investment in emergency preparedness activities, showing that the benefits far outweigh the costs in terms of reduced caseloads, unit costs of response and disaster losses.
  • Incremental changes to current mechanisms will leave gaps. This report recommends that while there are advantages to enhancing existing financing mechanisms, simply bolstering the existing system is not sufficient. At the very least a global solution must be considered.

The key findings and messages of the report are available via this 8-minute film:

Read the full report or executive summary: Dare to Prepare – Taking Risk Seriously

Read the related opinion piece: Haiyan is a Call to Action

We occasionally invite bloggers from around the world to provide their experiences and views. The views expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of CDKN.


Image courtesy Oxfam International.


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