The Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) is a biennial global assessment of disaster risk reduction and comprehensive review and analysis of the natural hazards that are affecting humanity. The first edition was published in 2009.
The GAR has contributed to achieving the aims of Hyogo Framework for Action, an international agreement which steered global efforts to reduce disaster risk from 2005-2015, and to its successor agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The GAR monitors risk patterns and trends and progress in disaster risk reduction while providing strategic policy guidance to countries and the international community. It aims to focus international attention on the issue of disaster risk and encourage political and economic support for disaster risk reduction.
GAR15 questions whether the way in which disaster risk governance has been approached since 2005 is really fit for purpose in a world threatened by catastrophic increases in disaster risk. It also examines whether the way in which disaster risk governance has evolved is appropriate to address increasingly accelerated generation and accumulation of disaster risks. It underlines how disaster risk management can contribute to the transformation of the underlying drivers of risk, and why a reform of disaster risk governance is necessary.
Among the key findings of GAR15 is that economic losses from disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and flooding are now reaching an average of US$250 billion to US$300 billion each year. Future losses, also known as expected annual losses, are now estimated at US$314 billion in the built environment alone. This is the amount that countries should set aside each year to cover future disaster losses. According to the report, an annual global investment of US$6 billion in disaster risk management strategies would generate total benefits in terms of risk reduction of US$360 billion. This is equivalent to a 20 percent reduction of new and additional annual economic losses. This investment represents only 0.1 per cent of the US$6 trillion per year that will have to be invested in infrastructure globally over the next 15 years.
The report also shows that the mortality and economic loss associated with extensive risks -- minor but recurrent disaster risks -- in low and middle-income countries are trending up. In the last decade, losses due to extensive risk in 85 countries and territories were equivalent to a total of US$94 billion. Extensive risks are responsible for most disaster morbidity and displacement, and represent an ongoing erosion of development assets, such as houses, schools, health facilities, roads and local infrastructure. However, the cost of extensive risk is not visible and tends to be underestimated, as it is usually absorbed by low-income households and communities and small businesses.
For small island developing states (SIDS), future disaster losses represent an existential threat. For example, compared to Europe and Central Asia, SIDS are expected to lose on average 20 times more of their capital stock each year in disasters. The expected annual losses in SIDS are equivalent to almost 20 per cent of their total social expenditure, compared to only 1.19 percent in North America and less than 1 percent in Europe and Central Asia.