Disaster Risk Management in Asian Cities

Feature | 1 May 2012

Major cities in Asia and the Pacific face threats from floods, earthquakes and tropical storms. These fast facts illustrate why we must invest in Urban Disaster Management.

  1. More than half the world's population live in urban areas and 80% of global GDP is generated from urban areas.
  1. 40% of Asia's population lived in urban areas in 2010 and that figure will be over 55% by 2030. Over 70% of the region's GDP is derived from cities.
  1. By 2020, 13 of the world's 25 mega cities are expected to be in Asia and the Pacific. Many of Asia's major cities have been established in some of the most hazardous locations possible.
  1. More than half the world's slum dwellers live in Asia.
  1. Most Asian cities lack effective wastewater treatment systems and more than two-thirds of collected solid waste is not disposed of effectively.
  1. High levels of urban poverty and informal settlers, and weak planning and regulation heighten disaster risks in cities.
  1. Asia Pacific countries suffer about a third of all global disasters annually but account for up to half of all deaths, damage and losses. From 2006-2011, developing countries in the region experienced 34% of world's recorded disasters, 44% of deaths, 87% of people affected, and 33% of disaster-related economic losses.
  1. Annual economic cost of disasters averages $53.8 billion in Asia and the Pacific.
  1. Less than 5% of disaster losses in developing Asia are insured compared to 40% in developed countries.
  1. Most Asian countries have disaster handling capabilities but few have provisions for financing post-disaster losses and rehabilitation.
  1. Investing in disaster risk reduction pays - it has been estimated that the economic impact of disaster will be reduced by $7 for every $1 spent.
  1. Since 1987 ADB has carried out disaster-related projects worth more than $12 billion and its aggregate urban lending is more than $11 billion.