1.47 billion people face flood risk worldwide: for over a third, it could be devastating

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Flooding is one of the most common and severe hazards disrupting people’s lives and livelihoods around the world. Flood often cause unmitigated damage and suffering, especially in lower-income countries where infrastructure systems – including drainage and flood protection – tend to be less developed.

While countries at all levels of development face flood risk, the vast majority of the world’s flood exposed people – 89% – live in low- and middle- income countries.  Critically, it is not only major, more infrequent floods but also smaller, frequent events that can reverse years of progress in poverty reduction and development.

Using the latest high-resolution flood hazard and population maps, as well as poverty estimates from the World Bank’s Global Monitoring Database of harmonized household surveys, we estimate that 1.47 billion people globally are directly exposed to the risk of intense flooding — over a third of them, almost 600 million, are poor.

1.47 billion people face flood risk worldwide for over a third it could be devastating Brandspurng
Our new study offers high-resolution risk maps of people’s flood exposure in any location in the world. Here: Flood risks in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Source: Google Earth; Rentschler & Salhab 2020

Here are three key findings:

1. Around the world, exposure to flood risk is substantial.

Some 2.2 billion people, or 29% of the world population, live in locations that are estimated to experience some level of inundation during a 1-in-100-year flood event.  Such an event has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year, which translates to a 10% probability in a decade, or 50% in a lifetime (68 years). About 1.47 billion people, or 19% of the world population, are directly exposed to inundation depths of over 0.15 meters. Furthermore, for over half of this exposed population, flooding could be even higher reaching life-threatening levels, especially for children and the disabled.

2.  Flood risk is global, but East Asia and South Asia could see the worst of it.

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Flood risk is a near-universal threat: populations are not safe in any of the 189 countries examined. Yet, the sheer number of people in harm’s way is particularly large in South and East Asia.  These regions are home to the majority of flood-exposed people, about 1.36 billion; with China (329 million) and India (225 million) alone accounting for over a third. This regional picture is explained by the fact that several large and densely populated areas are in high-risk flood zones, such as coastal areas or low-lying river plains (for instance along the Mekong, Brahmaputra, or Irrawaddy rivers).

Read Also:  Lagos unveils roadmap to fix potholes, tackle flooding

3. When flood exposure and poverty coincide the risk to livelihoods are most severe.

The most devastating long-term consequences of floods are often experienced by the poorest households – those who have next to no savings and limited access to support systems. By considering the dimension of poverty, it is possible identify where floods would cause prolonged adverse impacts on livelihoods and well-being.

By this measure, countries in sub-Saharan Africa face the greatest threat: We estimate that of the 171 million flood-exposed people in this region, at least 71 million people live in extreme poverty (i.e. living on less than $1.90 a day). Globally, 587 million poor people are exposed to flood risk, 132 million of which live in extreme poverty.

Poor people that are flood exposed (millions), by regions and poverty thresholds

1.47 billion people face flood risk worldwide for over a third it could be devastating Brandspurng1
Source: Rentschler, J., M. Salhab. 2020. People in Harm’s Way: Flood Exposure and Poverty in 189 Countries. Policy Research Working Paper. No. 9447. Washington DC: The World Bank

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Critically, the income level is a relatively reliable proxy for the ability of people to mitigate, cope with, and recover from floods. For instance, while a large share of the Dutch population lives in flood-risk areas, large-scale investments in flood protection infrastructure have enabled them to mitigate risks.

Similarly, flood-exposed populations in Canada or Japan are more likely to have access to rapid government support systems in post-disaster situations compared to people in Malawi or Bangladesh. Thus, strengthening disaster prevention and recovery capacity is most urgently needed in the hotspots where poverty and flood exposure coincide.

Evolving risks require urgent action

Flood risks are constantly evolving. There is evidence that the process of coastal urbanization is accelerating the increase in flood risk. With safe areas already occupied, new settlements and developments are occurring increasingly in high-risk areas. As spatial planning and infrastructure investments (such as drainage systems) struggle to keep up with the pace of urbanization, risks build up and are locked in.

In the coming years, land subsidence, rapid coastal urbanization and climate change could further increase flood risks.  Several high-risk countries, such as Vietnam or Fiji, are now adopting comprehensive action plans to balance these risks and opportunities in order to safeguard development prospects for future generations.

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1.47 billion people face flood risk worldwide: for over a third, it could be devastating - Brand Spur1.47 billion people face flood risk worldwide: for over a third, it could be devastating - Brand Spur

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1.47 billion people face flood risk worldwide: for over a third, it could be devastating - Brand Spur1.47 billion people face flood risk worldwide: for over a third, it could be devastating - Brand Spur

Latest News

Securing Payments in Asia: Omise Integrates the EMV 3DS 2.2 Protocol Using Netcetera’s 3DS Server

Securing payments in Asia with latest 3-D Secure technology - Omise integrates the EMV(R) 3DS 2.2 protocol using Netcetera's 3DS Server


ZURICH, SWITZERLAND and SINGAPORE - EQS Newswire - 27 January 2021 - 

Securing payments in Asia with latest 3-D Secure technology
Omise integrates the EMV 3DS 2.2 protocol using Netcetera's 3DS Server

The Payment Service Provider Omise has implemented the Netcetera 3-D Secure Server to secure online payment transactions in the APAC region. Netcetera, a market leader for digital payment solutions, offers certified products for 3DS payment processing, and promotes secure and frictionless consumer authentication. With the go-live beginning of January 2021, Omise is among the first PSP customers to implement the latest EMV(R) 3DS 2.2 protocol, enabling them to increase the approval rates and reduce fraud.

PSPs, merchants and acquirers need to reduce the risk for non-authenticated transactions, associated refunds and lost revenue, while at the same time establishing a frictionless flow and improving the cardholder experience during online shopping. Finding the right balance of serving both security and convenience is a challenge.

To successfully address this challenge, Omise decided to implement the network-certified and PCI-ready Netcetera 3-D Secure Server on premise solution. They are among the first PSPs to implement the 3DS server with the latest protocol EMV 3DS 2.2. Jatuporn Pinnuvat, Head of Product Innovation at Omise, says: "After a thorough evaluation and investigation of different suppliers and products, we decided on Netcetera with their flexible, agile and independent payment offering. We consider their 3DS server as the most reliable and viable product to support secure and convenient transactions. The implementation was smooth and efficient, and we were able to save a lot of time and effort thanks to the comprehensive technical documentation, educational webinars and Netcetera's professional support."

With their strong presence, providing service to thousands of merchants in the APAC region, Omise is a major player in the payment industry, and drives security and convenience of online payments together with Netcetera. Kiril Milev, Managing Director of Netcetera's location in Singapore, says: "We are convinced that we can bring value to the payment industry with our certified and state-of-the-art products, driving e-commerce payment forward. With this implementation at Omise, we are able to strengthen our presence in the APAC region". Ivan Ong, responsible for sales and business development in the area for Netcetera, adds: "We are committed to adapt our products to new regulations and protocols and are always among the first to be compliant. We are happy to count Omise among our customers, and as one of the first to implement our server with the latest 3DS 2.2 protocol."

EMV(R) is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries and an unregistered trademark elsewhere. The EMV trademark is owned by EMVCo, LLC.

About Netcetera

Netcetera is a global software company with cutting-edge IT products and individual digital solutions in the areas of secure digital payment, financial technologies, media, transport, healthcare and insurance. More than 2,000 banks and issuers, and 150,000 merchants rely on the digital payment solutions and globally certified 3-D Secure products of the market leader for payment security. The owner-managed company covers the entire IT lifecycle, from ideation and strategy to implementation and operation. The balanced combination of the latest technologies and proven standards ensures investment security, from large-scale projects to innovative start-ups. Founded in 1996, Netcetera is a holding company with 700 employees and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, with additional locations across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Further information: netcetera.com

About Omise

Established in 2013, Omise is a payments platform which provides businesses with a modern end-to-end infrastructure to accept, process and disburse payments online. Working with Omise, merchants have access to powerful payment tools, comprehensive risk management solutions, as well as connection to card networks and consumers' preferred payment methods. Omise enables revenue growth and seamless payment experiences across online, in-store and in-app.

Omise is present in Thailand, Japan and Singapore. The company is the payments platform of choice for thousands of brands today.

Further information: omise.co

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