| TOKYO , Feb 3 (KUNA) -- Japan and the World Bank on Monday launched a new program that will help improve disaster risk management in developing countries, and set up its headquarters in Tokyo . Activities under this program will have a strong focus on strengthening resilience, including risk identification, risk reduction, preparedness and financial protection as well as connecting Japan's knowledge with global expertise to support development planning and investment, the bank said in a press release. " Japan has long been a leader in mainstreaming disaster risk management into the global development agenda, and their own experience shows us that prevention pays," World Bank Acting Vice President and Network Head of Sustainable Development Zoubida Allaoua said. "The new program will have a global outreach, bringing expertise from Japan and beyond to developing countries, to help improve the lives of the people, particularly the poor, who are most vulnerable to disasters," she said. Japanese Senior Vice Minister of Finance and Senior Vice Minister for Reconstruction Jiro Aichi said, "We are committed to supporting technical cooperation in disaster risk management which utilizes Japan's knowledge and technology drawing from the public and private sectors, academia and others. We hope disaster risk management will be incorporated into World Bank projects as well as in development work overall." According to the bank, the hub in Tokyo will maintain a network of Japanese and regional centers of excellence in disaster risk management, and work with Japan's public and private sectors to help developing countries with the design and implementation of disaster risk management projects. Over the last 30 years, loss and damages from disasters have been rising, from an annual average of around USD 50 billion in the 1980s to just under USD 200 billion each year in the last decade, the bank said. Disasters strike developed and developing countries alike, but developing countries are more vulnerable, with risks exacerbated by population growth, rapid urbanization, environmental degradation, and climate change. The human toll is also severe, disproportionately hurting the poor who are often without the benefit of safety nets. (end) mk.hs KUNA 031910 Feb 14NNNN All KUNA right are reserved
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