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The global community is badly prepared for a rapid increase in climate change-related natural disasters that by 2050 will put 1.3 billion people at risk, according to the World Bank.

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Innovation is already changing the way we live, commute, shop, and more. But can it make the world a safer place from growing climate and disaster risk?

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In Samoa recently, villagers gathered on a roadside overlooking the ocean to examine maps on an iPad. Since 2012, this strip of coastline – long prized for its fishing and other resources – has suffered multiple cyclones and storms, devastating farms and communities.

The maps being used by villagers are not run-of-the-mill cartography. Laser imaging mounted on aircrafts is being used to equip government officials.

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More investment in under-funded hydrometeorological services is urgently needed in the face of growing exposure to weather and water related hazards which are being compounded by climate change, urbanization and population increase.

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The publication, Building Regulation for Resilience – Managing Risks for Safer Cities was written by a co-author of this article, World Bank senior operations officer Thomas Moullier. This paramount World Bank initiative has involved extensive international consultation with disaster recovery and disaster mitigation knowledge tsars and experts.

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Understanding risk is more than just modeling risk; it requires an understanding of the development and social processes that underlie and drive the generation of disaster risk. Here, in addition to a review of more technical factors, this paper aims to discuss a variety of institutional, social and political considerations that must be managed for the results of a risk assessment to influence actions that lead to reductions in natural hazard risk.

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Farmers in Kenya are set to benefit from the launch of a new innovative, index insurance scheme which utilizes advanced technology and satellite data to assist agricultural workers in the face of flooding and drought conditions.

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Could social media be useful in tackling the challenges posed by natural calamities? The answer is yes, as a World Bank team, found out from the response elicited from the officials during the devastating Hudhud cyclone that struck Visakhapatnam on October 12, 2014.

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Natural disasters can cause unthinkable tolls and continue to disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable. When the category five Cyclone Pam barreled down on Vanuatu in March, the destruction was unprecedented. 

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Climate change cannot be isolated from other drivers of disaster risk, and needs to be tackled alongside them