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The growing impact of disasters on human mobility has been highlighted by the International Organisation for Migration in their new Compendium on Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience.
Between 2008 and 2012, some 140 million people worldwide have been displaced by disasters such as earthquakes and floods, the Compendium reveals. Escaping the dangers of a disaster often pushes vulnerable people into other risks as displacement erodes their capacity to resist shocks. This is why building resilience and preventing unwanted displacement are key measures to reducing the costs of disasters.
"Disasters hit the poorest people the hardest. This is why investing in resilience is morally right. But it is also an economic imperative. For every Euro invested in resilience, the benefit is four to seven times higher in terms of reduced damage costs. Building up the resilience of the poorest reduces losses and helps them escape poverty. Without integrating this collectively in our work, the benefits of development will be wiped out and the unmet humanitarian needs will continue to grow" said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.
To respond to the challenge, the European Commission has put the building of resilience and the reduction of disaster risks high on its priority risks in the area of humanitarian aid and crisis response. In 2012, over 16% of the European Commission's humanitarian funding went to disaster risk reduction activities and more than 40% of the humanitarian projects funded by the EU include such activities. The results are tangible: in the course of 2012, EU funding reduced disaster risks for around 14 million people worldwide.