Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance

The problem

Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard. They cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses, involving on average some 250 million people each year.

The poorest communities suffer most as repeated disasters undermine their potential to develop and trap them in a poverty cycle. Flood risk is increasing due to due to growing populations, erratic rainfall patterns and unsustainable land use practices. Building resilience allows vulnerable populations to continue to thrive even during a disaster.

This project focuses on building resilience of vulnerable populations in Nepal, Bangladesh and Peru. We work with vulnerable populations to increase their understanding of risk, building flood resilient infrastructure, developing early warning systems and strengthening local capacity for food response. 

What we’re doing to help

Objective:  Building the resilience of vulnerable populations to floods

Zurich flood resilience programme

Location:  Karnali river basin in Nepal, Siragjanj in Bangladesh and the Rimac river basin and Piura river basin in Peru
Number of beneficiaries: 100,000
Project date: June 2013 - June 2018
Partners: International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center 

Principal funders: Zurich Insurance Group, the Z Zurich Foundation
Funding: £7,230,000

The project has the following objectives:

  • Increasing community awareness and knowledge on flood risk
  • Developing early warning systems that reach isolated communities
  • Supporting the building of flood resilient infrastructure such as safe houses and flood resistant wells.
  • Training in diversified livelihoods so incomes can be maintained
  • Strengthening national and sub-national government capacity for flood response

Practical Action works as part of a wider alliance comprising of the Zurich insurance group, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and research partners International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center (Wharton) in the United States.

Beneficiary voices

Delivering Early Warning Systems for the Poorest: From flood-vulnerable to flood-resilient communities

Floods are the most common cause of weather-related disasters globally, causing billions of dollars’ worth of damage and the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. Flood early warning systems can significantly reduce the devastating impacts of floods on lives and livelihoods for the poorest and most vulnerable. To do so, they must be ‘end-to-end’, combining risk knowledge, risk monitoring, communication and dissemination, and the ability to respond. In 2016, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction will produce guidelines that will shape how the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 is implemented around the world with regard to early warning systems. These guidelines must demand end-to-end systems that deliver actionable information to those most vulnerable to floods.

Risk Nexus

As part of Zurich’s flood resilience program, the post event review capability (PERC) provides research and independent reviews of large flood events. It seeks to answer questions related to aspects of flood resilience, flood risk management and catastrophe intervention. It looks at what has worked well (identifying best practice) and opportunities for further improvements., Urgent case for recovery: what we can learn from the August 2014 Karnali River floods in Nepal

Beyond Response and Recovery: An introduction to the Zurich flood resilience program

This issue brief provides an overview of the global challenges caused by flooding and how we are tackling them through the work of the Zurich flood resilience alliance., This issue brief provides an overview of the global challenges caused by flooding and how we are tackling them through the work of the Zurich flood resilience alliance.

Flood resilience case studies

As part of the Zurich Alliance, Practical Action is working to increase the resilience of communities to floods in Nepal, Bangladesh and Peru. These three case studies cover: 1. Farmer field schools - how simple technologies are reducing community vulnerability by providing food security and income generation; 2. Empowering communities - how Practical Action is building capacity at local level to ensure community engagement in development.; 3. School brigades - building the capacity of young people to take positive action in the face of disasters

Similar projects

Nepal flood resilience project

The goal of this project, part of the Zurich Global Flood Resilience Programme, is to build resilience of poor and vulnerable communities in Nepal with improvements measured using a resilience measurement framework together with documenting the best practices and lessons learnt.

Read more

Blog listing

Ecosystems underpin Sustainable Development

There is incredible generosity in the potentialities of Nature. We only have to discover how ...
Read more

Bio-dyke protects Bangalipur community

Healthy natural capital provides a buffer between flood hazards and communities. In flood emergen...
Read more

Flood resilience offers dignity to disabled people

Co authored with Gurudas Biswas, Monitoring & Documentation Officer, V2R+ project, Bangladesh...
Read more

no comments