Building Resilience to Disasters

Panic stricken residents in a suburb of Bangkok rush to automobiles to take them to dry land.

ESCAP works to help member States to build their capacity to withstand, adapt to, and recover from natural disasters so that their people can continue to lead the kind of lives that they value.

Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster prone region in the world. A person living in the region is almost twice as likely to be affected by a disaster as a person living in Africa, almost six times as likely compared with Latin America and the Caribbean, and 30 times more likely than a person living in North America or Europe. A single disaster can have serious implications by pushing back development gains. Furthermore, multiple shocks even in the form of smaller, more frequent disasters, coupled with other development challenges such as financial crises, erodes a person's and a country's ability to recover from future challenges.

Experience from the region and around the world has proven that disaster risk reduction and preparedness is far more effective and less costly than response, relief and recovery efforts. Considering the longer term implications of climate change, many policymakers recognize the need to move away from addressing disaster risks, including those related to climate change, as external factors to development to integrating these as factors inherent in development, and thus, the need to integrate disaster risk management into development strategies. ESCAP works to help countries build and monitor their resilience – to have the capacity to withstand, adapt to, and recover from natural disasters - so that their people can continue to lead the kind of lives that they value.