Number of people affected by disasters

Briefing papers
March 2015

This note provides information relevant to the agreement of target (ii) of the draft Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which reads: [Substantially] reduce the number of affected people per capita [by 20%] by 2030 and its two variants.

Different definitions of ‘affected’:

  1. ‘People requiring immediate assistance during a period of emergency, i.e. requiring basic survival needs such as food, water, shelter, sanitation and immediate medical assistance’ (Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters)
  2. ‘The number of persons who suffer indirect or secondary effects related to a disaster. This refers to the number of people, distinct from victims, who suffer the impact of secondary effects of disasters for such reasons as deficiencies in public services, commerce, work, or because of isolation’ (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction)
  3. People affected by disasters may experience ‘unequal access to assistance; discrimination in aid provision; enforced relocation; sexual and gender-based violence; loss of documentation; recruitment of children into fighting forces; unsafe or involuntary return or resettlement; and issues of property restitution. The affected populations […] [may be] forced to leave their homes or places of residence […] [thereby becoming] internally displaced’ (Inter-Agency Standing Committee)

This note was produced as part of a series of briefings to give those without expert knowledge on DRR the key facts relating to the areas under negotiation at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). The conference was held in Sendai, Japan, 14-18 March 2015, the outcome of which was the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

Read more about ODI's engagement at the 2015 World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.