Disasters can have devastating physical, social, and financial effects.
According to the European Environmental Agency, between 1980 and 2020, disasters caused by natural hazards affected nearly 50 million people in the European Union. These resulted in an economic loss of, on average, €12 billion per year.
The intensity and frequency of disasters are expected to grow as a result of climate change.
Under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, assisted by the World Bank, the European Commission undertook the study Economics for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness to assess the costs and benefits of investments in disaster resilience and their financing at national and EU levels.
The study calls for ‘smart’ disaster resilience investments, enhanced financial preparedness instruments and targeted capacity-building efforts. It shares evidence and guidance in 3 reports:
Investment in Disaster Risk Management in Europe Makes Economic Sense
More than 70 cases studies analysed in the report show that the benefits of investing in early warning systems, green and resilient infrastructure generally outweigh the costs.
When developing investments with a multi-hazard approach, these benefits become even larger.
Financial Risk and Opportunities to Build Resilience in Europe
Governments shoulder a large share of disaster costs to finance emergency response. Disaster risk finance – or planning how to meet the cost of major shocks – can reduce and mitigate disaster impacts.
The report highlights that access to pre-arranged funding can reduce impacts of disasters on people, economies, and governments budgets.
Understanding the Needs of Civil Protection Agencies and Opportunities for Scaling up Disaster Risk Management Investments
Closing the gaps in the technical capacity of civil protection authorities is crucial and the report identifies key opportunities for scaling up prevention, mitigation and preparedness investments.