Globally, one billion new dwelling units will be constructed by 2050 and, in low- and middle-income countries alone, building stocks will double in the next 15-20 years. Most of this growth is expected to occur in cities with weak capacity to ensure risk-sensitive development and construction. In the last 30 years, over 80 percent of the total life years lost in disasters came from low- and middle-income countries and there is evidence that disasters’ impact on GDP is 20 times higher than in industrialized countries. These impacts pose a fundamental threat to the goals of eradicating poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
Thus far, no robust and sufficiently concerted effort has taken place in the international arena to address the challenge posed by the inadequacy or absence of effective building regulatory frameworks in low- and middle-income countries. Today, we have a significant window of opportunity to ensure that new developments are safe from both chronic (e.g. structural collapse, fire) and acute disaster risks, which is why the World Bank and partner organizations must come together to address this challenge.
GFDRR’s Building Regulation for Resilience Program outlines the benefits of strong and effective building regulatory frameworks. By establishing an unprecedented global partnership and focusing on the role of building regulation in protecting lives and property from both chronic and acute disaster losses, the program supports a shift from managing disaster response to reducing underlying risks.
By implementing building regulation and supporting active compliance, the proposed program can serve to accelerate the application of current scientific and engineering knowledge to a safer built environment. To this end, the program seeks to leverage good-practice in building code regulation into effective chronic and disaster risk reduction strategies, thereby setting developing countries on track toward effective reform and long-term resilience.