Disaster damage to critical infrastructure and basic services

Briefing papers
March 2015
Tom Mitchell and Emma Lovell

This note provides information relevant to the agreement of target (iv) of the draft Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which reads: [Substantially] reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure, including health and educational facilities [by a given percentage] by 2030. Its variant (iv alt bis.) also covers basic services and points to developing their resilience.

Critical infrastructure are physical assets that play an essential role in the functioning of society and economies, including facilities for electricity generation, accessing water and food, public health, telecommunication, education and transport. Soft infrastructure includes non-physical assets, such as the rules and regulations governing systems, means of financial support, skills and specialisation in the workforce and ecosystem services.

Basic services are state or private services that citizens pay for through taxes or other contributions. These may include sanitation, water, schools, emergency services, transportation and health services.

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.