23 Mar 2012

World Bank advises Pacific to improve management of natural disaster risk

4:22 pm on 23 March 2012

A leading official of the World Bank has emphasised the need for Pacific Island countries to do more to manage the risk of natural disasters and external economic shocks.

Regional vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, Pamela Cox, who's in Samoa, has met with people there affected by the 2009 tsunami.

She says managing risks is particularly important for Pacific Island countries, which represent eight out of twenty countries ranked globally by disaster losses as a proportion of gross domestic product.

Over the past sixty years natural disasters have affected approximately 9.2 million people in the Pacific, led to almost 10,000 deaths and caused damage costing more than 3 billion US dollars.

She has also met with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi to discuss the new World Bank Country Partnership Strategy, a first for Samoa, which focuses on building resilience against climate change, disasters and external shocks.