Disaster risk management

© GIZ/Lucas Wahl

Disaster risk management is a crosscutting topic. Policy advice is therefore a priority area for GIZ in its work in the field of disaster preparedness.

Extreme natural events have increased in both number and severity over recent years. They can have a particularly devastating impact in developing countries. Poor countries lack the resources to protect themselves against natural disasters. The destruction of homes, infrastructure, agricultural land and businesses pushes individuals into greater poverty. Natural disasters can put development back by years.

Yet the drastic impact of natural disasters can be avoided. Disaster risk management saves lives and prevents damage. It is crucial to sustainable and stable development.

GIZ’s disaster risk management operates at different levels to reduce risk in the long term. Many of its measures focus on local assistance in directly impacted regions. Yet this targeted support is not enough. Functioning disaster risk management needs binding structures and legislation for which regional and national agencies are responsible. This is why GIZ supports links between local, national and regional structures.

Disaster risk management is a crosscutting topic that impacts all aspects of development. It is therefore finding its way increasingly into national policy advice and the international debate. The objective is for partners to include risk reduction measures, not only in their risk prevention plans but also in their poverty reduction strategies, budgetary planning, and development plans for sectors such as agriculture and education.

GIZ wants to integrate disaster risk management across the board. It therefore places emphasis on involving representatives of public institutions and civil society in all its measures. For the further development of its concepts, instruments and methods, GIZ cooperates with specialist and research bodies in Germany and internationally.

GIZ has more than 20 years’ experience in disaster risk management. Skilled experts use tried-and-tested methods to implement sustainable disaster risk management, ranging from prevention to post-disaster assistance. Measures to prevent disasters include developing an appropriate infrastructure and preparation for acute disasters, for example through early warning systems. Dealing with the impacts of disasters include providing immediate emergency assistance as well as reconstruction measures. Prevention plays a key role in avoiding future disasters. GIZ often implements preventive and response measures in parallel.