Natural disasters over several decades have had an increasing negative impact on the most vulnerable people in developing member countries (DMCs) and on development initiatives.
An average year sees $39.5 billion in physical losses throughout Asia.
In 2005, 246 (42%) of 650 severe natural hazard events recorded globally, occurred in Asia, killing over 97,000 (90% of the global total of 110,000 individuals), and affecting more than 150 million people.
Such large numbers of fatalities and affected people were recorded only twice in the last 25 years—in 1991 following a storm surge in Bangladesh, and in 2004 after the Indian Ocean tsunami.
In 2006, 85% of some 10,000 deaths from 174 separate disasters affected 28 million people in the Asia-Pacific region.
Disaster impact is greater in countries where prevention, preparedness, mitigation, and response capacities are inadequate. For ADB, disaster impact in unprepared DMCs means having to divert development funds to replace lost social and economic infrastructure. For a DMC, disasters mean failing to realize the country's potential.