Confronting Disaster: Recent Lessons from the Asia-Pacific

  • Caroline Brassard
  • Arnold M. Howitt
  • David W. Giles
Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


Despite the fact that disasters have become more frequent and more costly in terms of economic losses throughout the world, most governments have yet to make a clear priority of addressing and managing risk reduction before disasters strike. According to the Annual Disaster Statistical Review 2012, in the last 10 years, the five countries most hit by natural disasters were China, the United States, the Philippines, India and Indonesia. In 2012 alone, Asia accounted for nearly 65 % of global disaster victims, with hydrological events, such as floods, storm surge and landslides, accounting for 75 % of the disasters in Asia during that year (Guha-Sapir et al. 2012). Taking these factors into account, this chapter discusses current and proposed efforts to reduce natural disaster risk in countries across the Asia-Pacific. It also overviews how subsequent chapters address the issue from a public policy and governance perspective, with a focus on three broad themes: (1) emergency response and humanitarian relief, (2) recovery and resilience, and (3) improving preparedness.


Wenchuan Earthquake Disaster Risk Disaster Risk Reduction Disaster Preparedness Lushan Earthquake 
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  1. AADMER (2013) Facilitating partnerships of National and ASEAN DRR authorities and civil society to support AADMER implementation. ASEAN agreement on disaster management and emergency response (AADMER) partnership group evaluation report 2013. Accessed 5 June 2014
  2. Guha-Sapir D, Hoyois P, Below R (2012) Annual disaster statistical review 2012: the numbers and trends. Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), Institute of Health and Society (IRSS), Catholic University of Louvain, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  3. UNISDR (2013) From shared risk to shared value: the business case for disaster risk reduction, Global assessment report on disaster risk reduction. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), GenevaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Brassard
    • 1
  • Arnold M. Howitt
    • 2
  • David W. Giles
    • 2
  1. 1.Lee Kuan Yew School of Public PolicyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.John F. Kennedy School of GovernmentHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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