A publication of the Asian Development Bank No. 9     January - March 2011
Developing Asia
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FOCUS: Disaster Risk Management in Asia ●

  • The Big Read: Be Prepared
    Asia faces the task of transitioning to a culture of preparedness and prevention from a disaster response mindset.

  • The Big Picture: Concentrated Risk
    Natural disasters may strike anywhere; however, they wreak much more havoc on the poor and those living in poor countries with weak governance and economies. Steps to reduce risk have proven successful. Still, effective action must be encouraged.

  • The Big Voice: Disasters by Design
    The top United Nations official dealing with disaster risk reduction is trying to change the way the world thinks about disasters.

  • Hard Lessons
    With a myriad of agencies and organizations involved, as well as dramatic differences in financial and public support, and major calamities in quick succession, the work of disaster relief is strained to the breaking point.

  • Meteorologists with Megaphones
    A grassroots program with international support has dramatically reduced disaster-related deaths in Bangladesh.

  • Playing Savior
    Supporting a worthy cause is de rigueur among celebrities these days, but do they really serve the cause?

  • The Final Frontier
    New-generation satellites and advances in space-based technology are revolutionizing disaster risk reduction.

  • First Responders
    Disaster risk reduction programs should focus on supporting local efforts over national and international agencies' responses.
Off the Press
  • Worrying Trend
  • A Rock and a Hard Place
  • No Excuse
  • New Players, New Rules
  • Not the Answer
  • Justified Profit
  • Skewed Spending
  • The Confidence Fairy
On the Web
  • Global Number Crunching: AidData
  • Drawing Conclusions: RSA Animate
Off the Shelf
  • The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen
  • Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life
  • The Crisis Caravan: What's Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?
  • The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth
  • 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism
On the Record
  • Todd Moss, as quoted by the Financial Times
  • Andrew Natsios
  • Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
  • Rosalind Eyben
  • Eswar Prasad
  • WWF's Living Planet Report 2010
  • Melinda Gates
Bracing for Disaster

Natural disasters wreak havoc without discrimination, wiping out homes, livelihoods, a country's economic gains, and often many individual lives. Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe have all been struck by catastrophes in recent years. Asia, however, has been hit hardest: 40% of the world's disasters have occurred in the region in the past decade, resulting in a disproportionate 80% of disaster deaths. And Asia's poor, lacking in resources and more vulnerable and exposed to the elements, have borne the brunt of these cataclysms. Touted as the next economic power, Asia cannot afford to continue along this path. Countries in distress will be hard-pressed to reach their development goals as funds meant for fortifying social and economic infrastructure get diverted for emergency relief and reconstruction. Efforts to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in developing countries could suffer sizeable setbacks.

Ann Quon
Asian Development Bank

Read the full introduction.

About Us

Development Asia features development issues important to the Asia and Pacific region. It is published four times a year by the Asian Development Bank. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not reflect the views and policies of the Asian Development Bank or Haymarket Media Ltd. Use of the term "country" does not imply any judgment by the authors or the Asian Development Bank as to the legal or other status of any territorial entity.


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