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Disaster Risk Management for Low and Middle Income Countries

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 11:45am to 12:45pm

Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, 153

Rashmin Gunasekera and Akiko Toya, Disaster Risk Management Specialists from the World Bank, will lead a discussion on initiatives and progress in building disaster resilience in low and middle income countries.

2017 was a year of tragedy and devastation for the Caribbean region. Hurricane Maria wiped out over 200% of Dominica’s GDP overnight. How do countries financially recover from such impacts? This short presentation would focus on disaster risk financing (DRF) in the Latin America and Caribbean region. It would highlight a) recent innovations in both DRM and DRF; b) development of disaster risk financing strategies to cope with disasters; c) involvement of academic, public and private sectors; and d) key challenges and lessons learnt.

Rashmin Gunasekera is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank in Washington DC, focusing on disaster risk assessment and risk financing within the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, specifically in the Latin American and Caribbean region. He has over 15 years of work experience in disaster risk quantification extending to the public sector, re/insurance industry and academia. He has also presented and published innovative research and operations papers on Disaster Risk Management widely. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2012, Rashmin was Divisional Director of a global reinsurance intermediary and a coordinator of the Willis Research Network, the world’s largest collaboration between public science and the financial sector. He currently holds an honorary lectureship at University College London (UCL) and has a MPhil in GIS and Remote Sensing (Uni. of Cambridge, UK) and a PhD in earthquake seismology (Uni. Of Durham, UK).

Akiko Toya is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist who works on GFDRR’s technical assistance grant portfolio. She connects leading global and Japanese Disaster Risk Management knowledge and expertise with the World Bank’s operational teams, focusing on resilient infrastructure and transport projects. Previously, she worked with the South Asia, Latin America, and Caribbean teams on disaster risk assessment and risk reduction strategies for the transport sector. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked in enterprise risk manage­ment and political risk advisory at private insurance and consulting firms. A Japanese national, Akiko holds a master’s degree in public affairs and risk management from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental economics and sustainable development and has spent a semester abroad at La Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador.

Photo Credit: World Bank Group 2017

Lunch will be provided. Kindly RSVP here, so that we have an accurate count for catering.


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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, City and Regional Planning, Policy Analysis and Management

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Rhea Lopes

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607 216 2390


Rashmin Gunasekera (World Bank) and Akiko Toya (World Bank)

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