PH can minimize well-being losses from calamities by 22%

By Leslie Gatpolintan

June 20, 2018, 3:36 pm

MANILA -- The Philippines can reduce the average well-being loss due to natural disasters by 22 percent if it is able to speed up recovery from five years to one, a joint study by the World Bank (WB) and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) revealed.

The WB-GFDRR report discussed how countries could strengthen their resilience to natural shocks through stronger, faster, and more inclusive post-disaster reconstruction.

“If implemented together, these three strategies -- rebuilding stronger, faster, and more inclusively -- could generate major benefits, totaling USD 173 billion per year, or 31 percent of current well-being losses due to natural disasters,” it said.

The WB and GFDRR noted that building back stronger reduces well-being losses by ensuring that reconstructed infrastructure can resist more intense events in the future.

The report also underscored the need to accelerate the reconstruction through measures, such as contingent reconstruction plans, pre-approved contracts, and financial arrangements, to reduce disaster impacts.

“The importance of ‘building back faster’ differs across countries. Countries where indirect losses are the largest (i.e. countries with low socioeconomic resilience) are bound to benefit most from accelerated recovery,” it said.

It further said that building back more inclusively ensures that post-disaster support reaches all affected population groups.

The report emphasized the importance of providing reconstruction support to low-income households, which are typically more exposed, more vulnerable, and less comprehensively supported.

“If all countries had the ability to provide the poorest people with the post-disaster support found in developed countries, global well-being losses due to natural disasters could be reduced by 9 percent, equivalent to a USD52 billion increase in annual global consumption,” it said. (PNA)