The United Nation’s figures show that in today’s world 125 million people need humanitarian assistance, more than 60 million are forcibly displaced, and 218 million have been affected by disasters each year over the past two decades. Against this backdrop, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and this took place in Istanbul on May 23-24, 2016. The Summit aimed to set a forward-looking agenda to address the current and future challenges and to initiate concrete actions and commitments to enable countries to better prepare for and respond to disasters and strengthen resilience. The WHS was held at the highest political level and included more than 5,000 participants from governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations and civil society.
Recognising that disasters are becoming more frequent and intense-with devastating humanitarian consequencesthe Secretary-General´s agenda calls for a shift from reactively managing crises to proactively managing disaster risks. This requires increased investment in disaster risk management capacities and building of new partnerships, including with the private sector. Taking up that call, the GIDRM and GIZ co-organised a side event entitled “Public-Private Partnerships for Resilience and Localised Response”. In discussing incentives for the private sector to integrate disaster risk management into business models, the Vice-Chair of the GIZ Management Board, Dr Christoph Beier, emphasised that proper risk management is in the interest of each and every business. It does not only reduce losses and damage, but also increases a company’s competitiveness by demonstrating preparedness to potential customers, that it can continue operations and fulfil its contracts in the case of a disaster. The GIDRM looked particularly into the role of the private sector and has engaged a number of German businesses in its network to integrate risk management and resilience building in their own models and practices, and to develop solutions together.
GIDRM and GIZ are also collaborating with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) to build small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are disaster-resilient in Asia. The approach is being developed in cooperation with national government agencies for the promotion of SMEs such as the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) in Thailand, as well as with chambers of commerce, and respective national stakeholders in disaster risk management.