The Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries was created following the 2012 Sendai Report, prepared by the World Bank and GFDRR, with financial support from the Government of Japan.
The report maintained that Disaster Risk Management (DRM) is a defining characteristic of resilient societies and should be integrated into development planning. The $100 million program, to be implemented over five years, will fund technical assistance, pilot projects, knowledge and capacity building activities, and thematic initiatives focused on mainstreaming DRM into national development planning and investment programs.
The collaboration is the result of a strong partnership between Japan and the World Bank to help reduce risks from natural hazards. Japan, one of the founding donors of GFDRR in 2006, further strengthened cooperation with the World Bank in 2011 after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami through knowledge, advocacy and operational initiatives.
Building on the Sendai Report’s recommendations, Japan’s Finance Minister and the World Bank Group President together issued the Sendai Statement in October 2012, emphasizing importance of increasing technical assistance and financial support to vulnerable developing countries for building resilience to disasters, including the usage of Japanese know-how and expertise to support DRM policies and programs. Subsequently, the Ministry of Finance, Japan, announced its plan to strengthen support of DRM at the World Bank by supporting this Program to mainstream DRM in developing countries.
The Objective of the Program is to connect global expertise in DRM to support developing countries in mainstreaming DRM in national development planning and investment programs through technical assistance, pilot projects, and thematic initiatives focused on:
- Risk Identification: The production, communication and use of risk information.
- Risk Reduction: Land use planning, building standards and institutional strengthening.
- Preparedness: Forecasting and service delivery, early warning systems, and contingency planning.
- Financial Protection: Sovereign disaster risk financing, risk retention and transfer strategies.
- Knowledge Mobilization and Exchange: Knowledge development and dissemination, capacity building and outreach.
A Steering Committee chaired by the Ministry of Finance, Japan, and the World Bank by rotation, will meet once a year to review the work of the program and approve the allocation of resources for its implementation. The Steering Committee will consist of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the World Bank and the GFDRR Secretariat.
The program launched a new DRM hub in Tokyo in 2014 to provide project design and implementation support to World Bank task teams and to support the overall GFDRR program. The hub will develop and maintain a network of regional and Japanese centers of excellence in DRM and perform knowledge exchange, outreach and communication initiatives approved under the Program.
A large part of the knowledge and capacity building activities will be implemented by the World Bank Institute (WBI), in close cooperation with the World Bank’s Japan Office of External and Corporate Relations and GFDRR. Program activities will build on existing cooperation between WBI and the Government of Japan, including the Learning from Megadisasters Community of Practice, a program launched by Japan and WBI in 2011 to help Japan share its lessons from disaster risk management and reconstruction following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.