The Central Asia region faces frequent low and high impact disasters, and is especially vulnerable to earthquakes, floods, droughts or landslides. Severity and occurrence of these natural disasters is increasing and often have a transboundary nature, exposing the growing populations of the five Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Economic activity of the Central Asia region is vulnerable to adverse natural events. Over half of the region’s population lives in rural areas and 33% of the population relies on agriculture. Arable lands are often destroyed by seasonal flooding, and droughts also pose a major threat to crops. In addition, while the region depends on trade, many important international routes suffer annually from adverse natural events such as earthquakes, floods and landslides. In effect, disasters have already resulted in large financial impact in the region, having affected more than 2.5 million people and caused losses in excess of US$1.5 billion in the last two decades.
Governments in the Central Asia region play a key role in disaster response and recovery, which unfortunately translates into a significant burden on public finances, calling for increased and more systematic attention to disaster risk financing in the region. Furthermore, Disaster Risk Management (DRM) actions are already high on the agenda of Central Asian countries. However, a regional approach to DRM and financing can significantly benefit the countries in Central Asia by (i) providing common analytics and metrics; (ii) fostering training and sharing of knowledge and technology; and (iii) developing solutions for national and regional as well as transboundary issues.
Learn about SFRARR in Central Asia
The European Union has entrusted World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) with the implementation of the program Strengthening Financial Resilience and Accelerating Risk Reduction in Central Asia. The objective of the Program is to improve financial resilience and risk informed investment planning towards building disaster and climate resilience in Central Asia. Activities are implemented in the five Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The Program has three operational components:
- Quantifying Regional Disaster Risks and Capacity Building on Risk Identification. Activities within this component aim to improve the understanding and quantification of disaster and climate risks in selected countries of Central Asia through identifying, assessing, mapping and modelling disaster and climate risks.
- Establishing Fundamental Awareness and Capacities for Financial Resilience at National and Regional Levels. Activities within this component aim to enhance awareness and fundamental capacities for financial protection in selected countries of Central Asia.
- Exposure Mapping for Improved Risk Analysis, Disaster Risk Management and Awareness. Activities within this component aim to collect new data on the exposure of assets at local levels to disaster and climate risk and to share and use this data for decision-making at national and sub-national levels for preparedness, risk reduction and risk financing.
Budget and duration
The Program has a budget of €4.6 million (including a €4.3 million contribution from the European Union and €300.000 of co-financing from GFDRR). The Program spans from July 2019 until 31 December 2023.
The Strengthening Financial Resilience and Accelerating Risk Reduction in Central Asia Program is being implemented in collaboration with several partners:
- European Union (EU): The Program is funded by the EU Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) and is being implemented in close collaboration with the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan.
- United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR): A complimentary EU-funded program supports UNDRR to engage in policy areas and regional cooperation under the Sendai framework and on aspects of community resilience in Central Asia.
- Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR): The Program works in collaboration with the CESDRR based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which was established in 2016 through the support from UNDRR and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) with European Commission funding from the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), with the objective of strengthening its role as a regional Center of Excellence on Disaster Risk Reduction. Within the Program, CESDRR is involved in activities related to regional engagement, such as the regional multi-hazard risk assessment and consideration of regional disaster risk financing mechanisms. For other activities, CESDRR is involved to the extent that contributes to their overall capacity building with the aim to upgrade it to become a ‘center of excellence’ on Disaster Risk Management in the long term.
- Other Partners: The Program is closely collaborating with stakeholders involved in DRR and Risk Financing in the Central Asia region, including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the private sector.
- The SFRARR Program Fact Sheet is available in English and Russian
- An informational brochure of the SFRARR Program is available here in Russian and English languages.
Blogs, Stories, Events
World Bank Feature Story (December 2019): Improving Regional Cooperation to Better Manage Disaster Risks in Central Asia. Link here.
World Bank Blog (November 2020): Natural disasters cost Central Asia $10 billion a year – Are we doing enough to prevent them? Link here.