CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Tsunamis and earthquakes can be devastating, and unfortunately, developing countries usually get hit the hardest. Natural disasters can set an impoverished country even further back and add to the struggle the people of that county face. Even worse, the world is facing twice as many of these incidents than it was 30 years ago, and it is predicted that such incidents will occur more frequently as time goes on.
Because of this, the World Bank is teaming up with The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, or GFDRR, and the UK Department for International Development, or DFID, to address this issue.
The World Bank hopes that creating “The Challenge Fund” will provide the money needed for innovations in the countries that are most at risk. This way, citizens are more prepared to deal with the disaster and are given stronger aid post-disaster.
“Finding new ways to use technological innovation to empower communities to build their own solutions to the risk of disasters has proven effective from Nepal to New Orleans,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change. “We hope this challenge fund can further spread innovation.”
It is important to acknowledge natural disasters’ contribution to poverty, and that they are even the source in some cases. By finding new ways to deal with these tragedies, countries could improve in ways that are both economical and sustainable. The ultimate goal, of course, is to save lives.
The U.S. had reduced destruction on its own soil in the past with the right knowledge and technology. Now, the World Bank wants to give poorer countries access to these resources. It believes that doing so is one of the first steps that needs to be taken when addressing global poverty as a whole. “To end poverty, we must continue to expand our understanding of how to manage disasters and deploy this knowledge aggressively,” said Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank.
Currently, the Challenge Fund aims to fund 20 projects with donations between $20,000 and $150,000. By investing in technology, hopefully the impact of natural disasters around the world can be minimized.
– Melissa Binns