KORE - Knowledge Sharing Platform on Resilience

Preliminary findings: Agriculture-related investments in disaster risk reduction and management

Global and regional trends between 2004 and 2016

The agriculture sectors are highly exposed to natural hazards and disasters. The frequency and intensity of natural disasters pose significant threats to countries where a large share of the population is dependent on agricultural production for their livelihoods. The impacts of natural hazards and disasters can dramatically decrease the level of previously achieved development. An assessment by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2018) showed that between 2006 and 2016, agriculture sectors in developing countries accounted for almost a quarter (23 percent) of all damages and losses caused by medium- and large-scale natural disasters.

Disaster prevention and preparedness measures are key to increase the resilience and sustainability of agricultural livelihoods, and help eradicate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. The investment to ex-ante prevention and preparedness activities across sectors has been prioritized at the global level under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030. The guiding principle of the Sendai Framework is that risk-informed investments prior to a disaster address the underlying disaster risk factors and are far more cost-effective than the primary reliance on post-disaster response and recovery. Even in the absence of a disaster event, investing in prevention and preparedness can yield significant benefits. 

The lack of reliable data on damages and losses, as well as on investments in DRR/DRM, especially sector-specific evidence, constitutes a major constraint for understanding the financial commitments in agriculturerelated DRR/DRM interventions. This study addresses a critical knowledge gap and is a fundamental contribution to inform future planning and priority setting for agriculture-related resource allocations in/across pre-, during and post-emergency contexts.


  • Disaster prevention and preparedness measures are key to the sustainability of agricultural livelihoods, and can reduce the need for emergency response significantly. Nevertheless, this analysis shows that disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster risk management (DRM) in agriculture focus mainly on emergency response rather than preventive actions.
  • Between 2004 and 2016, the total official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries and countries in transition amounted to USD 1.63 trillion, invested in different categories and sectors. Only 3 percent of the total ODA was directed to agriculture-related measures within DRR/DRM.
  • The analysis of investment trends for DRR/DRM indicates a long-term increase in ODA to prevention and preparedness (including flood prevention and control), across various sectors. However, this trend is not reflected in agriculture-related allocations, demonstrating a need to increase ODA allocations that concern prevention and preparedness measures in the agriculture sectors.
  • Of the total agriculture-related ODA for DRR/DRM categories, 92 percent were allocated to emergency response, while 7 percent were allocated to prevention and preparedness (including flood prevention and control), and 1 percent to agriculture-related relief, recovery and rehabilitation measures.
  • The observed trend is that agriculture-related prevention and preparedness (including flood prevention and control) allocations peaked during or after disaster events, which might indicate that investments are done reactively, triggered by a large-scale disaster, rather than in an anticipatory way. 


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