Investment and Financing for addressing Water-related Disasters

Globally, water-related disasters already account for 90% of all natural disasters. Their frequency and intensity are rising due to rapid development, population increase and climate change, causing enormous damage to life and property worldwide. Water–related natural disasters have emerged as a major obstacle hindering our common aspirations for eradicating poverty, promoting inclusive economic growth, preserving the environment, and ultimately, moving towards sustainability.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 adopted in the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction highlighted “investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience” as one of the four priority actions, and called to promote public and private investment in disaster risk prevention and reduction through structural and non-structural measures in order to enhance the economic, social, health and cultural resilience of persons, communities, countries and their assets, as well as the environment. The framework also set targets to substantially reduce global disaster mortality, number of affected people and direct disaster economic loss by 2030.

Furthermore, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development set out ambitious goals and targets to address the issues of water and disasters, including targets to substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity, and the economic losses and the number of deaths and people affected by water-related disasters. 

Political commitments made in Sendai Framework and 2030 Agenda must be matched by finance. Investment in water infrastructure and disaster risk reduction, both structural and non-structural, not only prevents frequently occurring disasters but also mitigates the catastrophic impacts of mega-disasters. It can save lives, avoid the destruction of vital infrastructure, and make a significant difference in achieving the national and international goals of ending poverty and ensuring sustainable and equitable growth for all.

In this context, HELP launched a flagship action on investment and financing for water-related disasters in order to promote and strengthen investment for preventing and mitigating water-related disasters around the world.

Building on a cooperation between the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the HELP and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (MLIT), several sessions on DRR were organized in late 2018 and early 2019 in several regions to consult on the draft principles on investment and financing for water related-disaster risk reduction. These Principles were launched at Fourth UN Special Session on Water and Disasters in June 2019.