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Assessing the Real Cost of Disasters

The Need for Better Evidence

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Disasters disrupt socio-economic activities and cause substantial damage. Yet, their full economic impact remains largely unknown, especially the cost of smaller disasters and indirect impacts such as those due to business disruptions. Similarly, little information exists on the total amount of public resources that countries devote to disaster risk management. Reliable, comprehensive and comparable data on the economic impact of disasters as well as on public spending on disaster management and risk prevention are essential for developing effective disaster risk management policies. This report provides an overview of countries' efforts to improve the quality and quantity of information on the costs of disasters.

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Progress in measuring and accounting for disaster damage and losses in OECD countries

Disaster damage and loss data is indispensable for informing effective disaster risk reduction strategies and risk reduction investments. This chapter presents the results of an assessment of countries’ progress in collecting and using disaster damage and loss information. It provides a discussion of the disaster damage and loss data repositories that have been created on an international level. It brings together results from the OECD survey, country expert meetings as well as additional desk research. It discusses the objectives of ongoing international efforts to improve the availability of country-level disaster damage and loss data and their expected impacts on countries’ activities in the future.

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