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Principles on Investment and Financing for Water-related Disaster Risk Reduction

Water is life. Water is also a threat to life. In the past 20 years, disasters directly affected 4 billion people, out of which 4.1 billion, or 98% were by water-related disasters. Economic damage is also enormous amounting to 1.8 trillion US dollars globally in the same period. To cope with this challenge, the High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP), the network to mobilize political will for combating water-related disasters, has developed the “Principles on Investment and Financing for Water-related Disaster Risk Reduction” acknowledged by the High-Level Panel on Water. The Principles are in coherence with the Sendai framework, the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda, as well as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and contributing to the respective SDGs. From 2017 to 2019, extensive consultations on earlier drafts of the principles have taken place in HELP and regional meetings worldwide, inviting over 200 experts from 50 countries. The Principles are supported with a Background Document which provides further rationales, the linkages to the global frameworks, and literature-based factual evidence underpinning the economic cases of financing approaches. “Water-related disasters” comprise both rapid and slow onset disasters and refer to natural hazards and hydrometeorological extreme events, such as floods, tsunamis, landslides, debris flows, and droughts. The Principles focus on water-related disasters, because such disasters: i) are directly connected to climate change; ii) occur in most countries, resulting in almost 90% of world top 1,000 disasters ; iii) are strongly linked to poverty issues as waterdisaster-prone areas are often inhabited by the poor, who are particularly vulnerable against extreme events; and iv) can be drastically mitigated by effectively using a time lag between the inception of disaster event and the arrival of its impact, allowing people to prepare and evacuate, e.g. heavy rain flood or tsunami. Pro-poor measures against extreme water-related events should be taken. The public nature and the political drive often choose visible short term results, thus deviates from investing in prevention to avoid future losses on the long term. We should consider building resilience as a huge business opportunity, and the chance to incorporate better coastal and urban design and restore degraded lands. The toll of water-related disasters in lives and livelihoods has been immense. Unless action is taken soon, the combined effects of extreme water phenomena, climate change, growing populations and urbanization will negatively affect society and economy in many regions, spur migrations, and spark conflicts. When adopted globally and used widely, the Principles will provide central and local governments as well as financial institutions with a practical guidance to apply their investment resources to more effective disaster risk reduction.
Author: High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP)
Language: English
Pubished By: HELP
Pubished date: June 2019

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